LHC sustains registrar’s objection to Imran’s plea seeking end to PEMRA ban

PEMRA banned broadcast of Khan's speeches on all TV channels due to his “provocative statements"

Shahid Hussain
View of the Lahore High Court building. — LHC website
View of the Lahore High Court building. — LHC website

  • Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan uphholds registrar’s objection after brief hearing.
  • Objection raised as PTI leader fails to attach attested copy of PEMRA notification with plea papers.
  • Electronic media watchdog imposed ban on airing live and recorded speeches of PTI chairman.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday sustained the registrar's office’s objection to former prime minister Imran Khan’s plea seeking annulment of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) ban on broadcast of his live as well as recorded speeches.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief had filed a petition in the LHC a day earlier challenging the PEMRA notification. However, the petition was returned by the registrar's office with objections.

The office objected to the petition as the PTI leader had failed to attach an attested copy of the PEMRA notification with the petition documents.

The PTI then challenged the registrar’s objection and the plea was heard today by Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan.

When the plea was taken up today, Justice Hassan upheld the registrar's office’s objection and returned the PTI chief’s plea.

On Sunday, PEMRA imposed a ban on the speeches of the PTI chairman on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect due to his “provocative statements against the state institutions and officers.”

The decision by PEMRA was taken hours after the ousted prime minister — removed from power via a no-confidence move in April last year — delivered a hard-hitting speech outside his Zaman Park residence in Lahore after a police team's raid to arrest him in the Toshakhana case.

In its notification, the electronic media watchdog directed all the TV channels to refrain from airing Khan’s live or recorded statements, speeches and conversations.

On Monday, the PTI chief approached the LHC to seek revocation of the ban.

But, LHC’s Registrar's Office objected to the petition, saying the petitioner did not enclose an attested copy of the PEMRA ban.