| GEO Pakistan|
SC orders Pemra to restore Geo News by 1230pm today
| Updated at: 1213 PST, Friday, August 13, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry held it an offence to stem the telecast of Geo News and other channels by force and termed it terrorism to attack on cable-operators with petrol bombs, Geo News reported Friday.
He was heading a two-member bench hearing two identical petitions against the closure of Geo News and ARY.
The petitioners’ counsel Akram Sheikh said in initial arguments that the incident that occurred in Birmingham was reported in the international media as well as in Pakistani media.
Following the telecast of this news story, the media in Pakistan was harassed and the bundles of The News and Daily Jang were snatched and burned down, he said.
He further said the petrol bombs were flung at the offices of cable operators and these circumstances run counter to the freedom of access to the information.
The CJ Chaudhry remarked it is a crime to stem the telecast of the channels thus, asking whether there is any agency present in the country to maintain law and order.
He also asked why the law did not come into motion on these incidents.
Akram Sheikh Advocate stressed police is allowing its cover to those harassing and terrorizing the media.
Reacting to this, the CJ addressed Advocate, ‘The incidents related by you indicate that there is total breakdown in the country, as law-enforcement agencies are not functioning.’
The court directed the federal secretaries of Information and Interior and Chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to appear before the court today.
The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Chairman Pemra Mushtaq Chaudhry to restore the banned channels by 1230pm today; failing to do so, the Pemra will be put behind bars.
The court adjourned hearing till 1230pm today.