ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Chaudhary Rashid Ahmad Monday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the alleged harassment of the government, which, according to him, is pressurising him to resign from his office.
After hearing his petition, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad issued notices to Secretary Information and Broadcasting, Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), executive member PEMRA Rao Tehsin and Inspector General Islamabad Police (IGP) and directed them to submit their reply in this regard.
The chairman PEMRA moved the court through his counsel Wasim Sajjad Advocate and Idris Ashraf and cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Dr Nazir Saeed Secretary Information, DG FIA, Executive Member PEMRA Rao Tehsin Ali and IG Islamabad police.
In the petition, he alleged before the court that federal government is harassing him to obtain his resignation. His counsel stated in the petition that since December 16, when the IHC provided relief to his client, a series of acts of victimisation has been launched by the government to pressurise Rashid for tendering resignation.
He added that respondent No 3 started calling the petitioner almost daily for investigation. “The petitioner furnished written statement to the DG FIA but still, they are calling him and threatening him to arrest him if resignation is not furnished by him to the government,” maintained the counsel.
He contended that they seemed to be bent upon to prove Rashid guilty and help the government remove him from the post of chairman PEMRA. “The tone, tenor and manner of respondent No 3 investigation is humiliating, threatening and indifferent to logic or facts,” he argued.
He told the court that in order to prepare ground for further illegal and oppressive action, the executive member PEMRA has reportedly lodged a bogus complaint against his client with the police with the objective of registering criminal case against him
Barrister Sajjad stated before the court that secretary ministry of information and broadcasting told his client that there was pressure from the government for his resignation.
The petitioner prayed to the court to pass directions that the he might not be harassed and the Federation might be restrained from interfering in the affairs of PEMRA, as it is an independent body under the PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
He further prayed to the court that respondent No 3 may be restrained from arresting him without permission of the court.
It is pertinent to mention here that the federal government had removed chairman PEMRA on December 15, 2013 while IHC Justice Riaz had restored him to his position.