LHC reserves judgment on petition against TV talk shows

LAHORE : The Lahore High Court (LHC) reserved judgment on maintainability of a petition requesting to restrain private TV channels from debating Panama Papers case in talk shows.

A local resident, Amjad Farooq, had moved a petition in LHC and his counsel advocate AK Dogar said that according to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) rules nobody was allowed to telecast programmes and debate on the matters pending before the court of law.

As per Section 20 clause (n) of this Ordinance: “Do not broadcast any programme or discussion on sub judice matters.”

He asserted that it was a universally accepted principle that when a case was pending with  court, whether subordinate or superior, the matter was said to be sub judice.

“In Pakistan news anchors act like judges and the participants of their programmes argue like counsels of parties and even the remarks made by judges were subjected to criticism during the television programmes.”

He requested the court to issue directions to the PEMRA to enforce its law and stop all television channels from holding programmes on sub judice matters. Subsequently, the judge after preliminary hearing of the petition reserved the decision on maintainability of this petition.

Earlier, on May 3, Justice Shahid Karim, on a petition, had sought replies from federal government and PEMRA on similar matter. The enforcement of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 had been sought in the petition.

Express Tribune