IHC rejects media group's appeal against Pemra

ISLAMABAD - A Division Bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday turned down an intra-court appeal of Geo-Jang group to halt Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) proceedings started on the request of Ministry of Defense for maligning Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI).
The Bench comprising Chief Justice IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui conducted the hearing of the intra-court appeal and rejected the same.
During the hearing of the petition, Justice Siddiqui asked from Geo lawyer Akram Sheikh that he had filed an appeal to seek relief from the court but the earlier decision of single-bench was not challenged.
Previously, a single bench of IHC had rejected Geo TV channel's petition in which it had prayed the court to halt PEMRA proceedings for maligning ISI.
The bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan had dismissed the petition moved by Independent Media Corporation and Mir Ibrahim through their counsel Akram Sheikh Advocate.
During the hearing, Sheikh had adopted before the court that a murder attempt to kill Hamid Mir was carried out in Karachi on April 19 and the incident was covered internationally.
He contended that Geo did not level allegations against any institution rather it only aired the allegations of victim's brother Amir Mir.
The counsel informed the court that a judicial commission comprising three judges of Supreme Court had initiated its proceedings to probe the incident.
He told that the channel received a show-cause notice from PEMRA on April 23 while the complaint of ISI was sent to PEMRA on April 22.
Sheikh contended that PEMRA sent the show-cause notice to the channel only 12 hours after receiving the complaint without reviewing it.
The counsel said that ISI alleged in the complaint that Geo channel ran campaign against it and its senior officer after the attack on Hamid Mir.
He argued that PEMRA is working without its chairman, therefore, it can neither receive any complaint nor it can issue show-cause notice on any complaint.
Therefore, he prayed the court that it may declare the show-cause notice of PEMRA as illegal and null and void.
He further requested the court that it may pass the orders to halt the proceedings of PEMRA in this regard.
After hearing his arguments, the court had announced its verdict and dismissed the petition.

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