Pemra’s court reporting ban order challenged in LHC

A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) notification prohibiting court reporting.

The petition, moved by Advocate Samra Malik, has made PEMRA, the federal government, and information secretary as respondents in the case.

The petitioner maintained that Pemra’s court reporting ban was a violation of Articles 19 and 19-A of the constitution. She pleaded with the court to annul media regulatory body notification until final verdict on the petition.

The petition comes two days after the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority refrained news channels from airing material about ‘ongoing court cases’ until a final verdict is announced.

The media regulatory authority imposed ban on news regarding subjudice cases and directed the channels to only air information that is in the public interest.

PEMRA also directed the media outlets to avoid expressing their ‘opinions on subjudice cases’. It also warned against discussing ongoing court cases in TV programmes in a way that could ‘influence’ investigations or the trial.

The regulatory body has emphasised that only information that is deemed necessary for the public will be allowed to be disseminated through media channels.

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