October 29, 2021
LAHORE—The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued notice to the PEMRA, seeking its reply on a plea challenging a notification wherein television channels had been directed to refrain from airing "objectionable dramas" and intimate scenes, Dawn reported.
The plea, filed by a private media company, referred to an October 21, 2021 notification issued by the PEMRA, stating that all television channels, including those with landing rights in the country, should not air "objectionable dramas/content based on indecent dressing, caressing, bed scenes and gestures, sensitive/controversial plots and unnecessary detailing of event(s)."
The notification added that such content was "highly disturbing, distressing for the viewers and against the commonly accepted standards of decency."
In the plea taken up by the LHC's Justice Jawad Hassan, the petitioner contended that PEMRA's notification was "illegal" and "contrary to the ethos of the Pemra Ordinance 2002."
It further argued that PEMRA had no authority to issue directions such as those mentioned in the notification to television channels. The media regulator's move was based on "malafide, ulterior motives" and was in "sheer violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner".
The petitioner said the issuance of the notification was indicative of the "sick mentality" of PEMRA authorities and termed the directives "discriminatory."
PEMRA and the regulator's operations and broadcast media general manager, Muhammad Tahir, have been nominated as respondents in the plea.
Seeking a reply from PEMRA on the plea at the next hearing, the court appointed Barrister Ahmed Pansota as the amicus curiae in the case.
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