LHC Suspends Pemra Ban On Imran Khan's Speeches

LHC Suspends Pemra Ban On Imran Khan's Speeches
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) order prohibiting the broadcast of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan speeches was suspended by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday.

The verdict was announced by LHC Judge Shams Mehmood Mirza, which was reserved earlier today. The court submitted the matter to the chief justice of the LHC after granting the PTI chief's plea for the establishment of a full bench.

The court adjourned the hearing until March 13 after announcing the verdict.

LHC Judge Mirza heard the plea today and inquired into the legal basis for the claim.

Khan's attorney informed the court that the Islamabad High Court had also lifted a prior ban issued by Pemra.

At this point, Pemra's attorney disagreed with the contention and asserted that the IHC, not the LHC, had jurisdiction over the case.

On Sunday, the live broadcast of the former prime minister was prohibited by Pemra when he criticized state institutions after an Islamabad police team made an attempt to arrest him in the Toshakhana case. Later, Imran Khan submitted a petition to the LHC seeking suspension of the ban, claiming that the regulatory body had overstepped its legal jurisdiction by placing the limitation.

In its notification, the PEMRA said Khan was "leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers, which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity".

As per notice, Pemra directed all the licencees to refrain from airing/broadcasting/rebroadcasting of speech(s)/press talks (recorded or live) of Imran Khan on their respective TV channels with immediate effect.

"In case of non-compliance, the licence will be suspended under Section 30 of the Pemra Ordinance, 2002 without any show cause notice in public interest," the order said.