Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued directives for private electronic media from airing content against state institutions (judiciary and armed forces). According to the notification, PEMRA has observed some TV channels are airing content which tantamounts to casting aspersions against state institutions, including Armed Forces and Judiciary.
PERMA added that airing of such content is in violation of the directives issued by the Authority with provisions of PEMRA Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 and the principles laid down by the Superior Courts.
The regulator added that “Freedom of Speech and Expression is the fundamental right of every citizen as per Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, however, this right is subject to reasonable restriction imposed by law in the interest of glory of Islam or the integrity, security of defence of Pakistan, or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to the contempt of court (Commission of] or incitement to an offence.”
“In view of the above, all satellite TV channels licensees are hereby directed to follow the principles laid down in the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in Suo Moto Case No. 28 of 2018 and the judgement of the Hon’ble Islamabad High Court, Islamabad passed in Criminal Original No 270/2019 dated 25-11-2019 and ensure strict compliance to following relevant provision of PEMRA laws.” it added.
Moreover, the satellite TV channels have been directed to ensure that an effective Time Delay Mechanism be put in place and an impartial and independent Editorial Board be constituted as required under Clause 17 of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 in order to ensure that their platform is not used by anyone for uttering contemptuous remarks in any manner whatsoever against any state institutions.
In case of any violation observed, PEMRA will take legal action under Section 27, 29, 30, and 33 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act, 2007.
This is a copy of the notification:
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