SC issues contempt notice to Pemra chairman
ISLAMABAD, Aug 24: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a contempt of court notice to the chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Mushtaq Malik, for misleading the court over blocking of transmissions of two private television channels — ARY News and Geo News — in some cities of Sindh.
“The perusal of the apology tendered by the chairman Pemra in which he had changed his earlier stand prima facie indicates that he intentionally made an incorrect statement to undermine the authority of the Supreme Court and to obstruct the dispensation of justice,” said the order issued by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday and Justice Ghulam Rabbani.
Mr Malik`s action, the chief justice observed in the order, fell under Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Act. Therefore, contempt of court notice was issued against him to show cause why action should not be taken under the contempt laws.
The bench had taken up three petitions moved by President of ARY Digital Network Dr Shahid Masood Khan, representatives of Royal TV and another on behalf of subscribers of the Geo News against four cable operators — WorldCall, Media Plus, City Communications and Karachi Cable Service.
The contempt notice against the Pemra chairman was issued after a statement submitted by provincial police officers (IGs) of Sindh and Punjab claiming no FIR had been registered in their respective provinces for attacking the offices of cable operators in Karachi and damaging broadcast equipment.
The court, however, decided to drop a similar allegation against Acting Secretary Information and Broadcasting Sohail Mansoor who also oversee the affairs of the Pakistan Television for airing a talk show on Aug 13 which according to the petitioner amounts to defaming the court. “No action is called for against the PTV,” the chief justice said. Staff Reporter
After hearing the transcript of the talk show and reading the reply submitted by the acting secretary information the court find that nothing was uttered in the programme that undermines or belittles the dignity of the court.— Staff Reporter