LHC stays Pemra decision to suspend TV channel 24NewsHD’s license

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday agreed on the decision of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Perma) to suspend the license of television channel 24NewsHD. The reason for 24NewsHD to be suspended is the noncompliance with Pemra terms of the license. They had sent a notice to the regulatory body and the federal government and were waiting for a reply on the matter during their next hearing.
Pemra has suspended the channel on Friday on the basis of illegal transmission of news and current affairs content.
The regulatory authority had issued a press released according to which “the channel Value TV for the license was issued to Central Media Network Private limited has illegally changed their name to 24NewsHD. The channel was given the license to air entertainment content but it was diligently air news and current affairs which are in continuous violation of Pemra laws.”
The Central Media Network challenged Pemra’s decision to suspend the channel in Lahore High Court saying that it’s illegal and nominated the federal government and Pemra as respondents.
In the petition, the media network said that Pemra had issued a show-cause notice to the channel on 5th May adding that the channel’s representative has attended a hearing on the matter on the 1st of June and a written reply was also submitted.
But the petition said after the decision of Pemra’s chairman on the 3rd of July, the channel license was suspended on alleged violation in the change of logo and content without permission. The petition also stated that the channel had applied for a change in license category in 2015 which was partly approved.
The petition argued that the chairman of Pemra isn’t allowed to issue an order as signatures of twelve other board members of the body are required. They also claimed that the authority has allowed different types of programs to run on other channels and that this was a case of discrimination.
The petition was brought up in court to overrule Pemra’s decision and to issue a stay order until a final judgment was made regarding the case.
Pemra’s lawyer opposed the request for a stay order while arguing that the cases could not be heard in Lahore High Court as all hearing were being conducted in Islamabad. The lawyer suggested that the media organization should have approached the Islamabad High Court.
Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi who decided to hear the case on daily basis after hearing the argument ordered that the channel license should be reinstated and issued notices to the government and Pemra to respond during the next hearing.




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