Pemra Bars Broadcasting Of Content On Conduct Of Serving HC, SC Judges

Pemra Bars Broadcasting Of Content On Conduct Of Serving HC, SC Judges
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has barred the broadcast and rebroadcast of content on the conduct of the serving high court and Supreme Court judges on electronic media, forthwith.

In its order released on Thursday, the regulator referred to previous directives wherein the broadcasters were asked to "refrain from telecasting any content against state institutions."

In spite of this, satellite television channels have been "persistently discussing the conduct of honourable judges of the superior courts and orchestrating a vilification campaign by airing slanderous allegations."

The authority further observed that the airing any sort of content which prima facie refers to the conduct of the judges is a sheer violation of the authority’s laws and judgements of the apex court.

It also made a reference to the Article 68 of the Constitution which says, "No discussion shall take place in the Parliament with respect to the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or High Court in discharge of his duties."

Pemra also directed satellite TV channels to ensure that a Time Delay Mechanism and "impartial editorial board" are in place.

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

The directives come after audio leaks allegedly linked to a Supreme Court judge surfaced last month. The viral clips show the top court’s judge to be allegedly involved in conversations with the former chief minister Punjab Parvez Elahi, who has now joined PTI and recently, party’s leader Fawad Chaudhry.

In a recording of a purported call, Fawad can be heard telling his brother Faisal to meet someone with the name of Mazahar and convey that “the entire truck is standing beside you, so tell us what to do now.”

The earlier clip allegedly featured former chief minister Punjab Parvez Elahi discussing fixing a case to a particular bench or judge, with Justice Naqvi. Both Fawad and Elahi denied the audio clips.

Also, a family member of the senior judge dismissed the allegations leveled against him, and termed it a “smear campaign to malign the judiciary”.