IHC Directs Pemra To Ensure Observance Of Ramazan Guidelines

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to make sure observance of a code of conduct with reference to Ramazan transmission.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui passed this direction to Pemra during the hearing of a petition filed against broadcast of indecent content on private television channels.

The court directed Pemra to ensure implementation on the Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015, Ramazan guidelines and designated 10pc air time for ‘public service messages’ on TV channels.

The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) had challenged the Ramazan guidelines before the Supreme Court and the apex court stopped Pemra from taking any adverse action on the violations.

Pemra while in compliance with the apex court’s orders has suspended action on violation of Ramazan guidelines by some TV channels.

The SC had directed the IHC to pass an appropriate order in this regard on June 5 observing that “till then no adverse action be taken against the petitioner association”.

When the case was taken up on Monday, the counsel for PBA could not appear before the court to argue the matter. An associate of the counsel informed the court that he could not appear before the court because he was not feeling well.

In the order, Justice Siddiqui noted that despite being on leave he held the court in compliance with the SC orders but the counsel for PBA did not show up. Subsequently, the court while issuing directions to the electronic media regulator adjourned the matter for July 4.

Pemra had issued a statement to TV channels asking them to follow a set of guidelines for all Ramazan transmissions. The statement asks TV channels to be mindful and respectful when airing content during the holy month, while also keeping in mind sentiments of the audience.

Courtesy: Dawn

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