PEMRA bans Dawn News programme

PEMRA bans Dawn News programme

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Monday prohibited 'Dawn News' from airing its programme 'Zara Hut Kay' for three days starting from Wednesday (March 22) 2300 hours to Friday (March 24) till 2400 hours midnight.

The decision was made under Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 (as amended by PEMRA Amendment Act 2007), a PEMRA press release said.

In the said programme dated March 9, anchorpersons Mubashir Zaidi, Wusatullah Khan and Zarar Khoro discussed a reference pending before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Discussing a matter which is pending before the SJC is a violation of the Section 20 (c) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, Rule 15(1) of PEMRA Rules 2009 and clauses 3 (1-j), 4(3) of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 as well as directives of the Supreme Judicial Council dated Nov 21, 2015, the press release said.

PEMRA through a show cause dated March 10, 2017, asked the channel to explain its position and appear before a personal hearing committee by March 17, 2017, 4.00 P.M. for a reply.

On March 17, the channel's representatives Agha Bilal and Mubashir Zaidi appeared before the committee for hearing and denied any intention of slandering or attempting to contempt of judiciary directly or indirectly in the said programme "Zara Hut Kay".

Besides prohibition, the TV channel has also been directed to install effective time-delay mechanism and also constitute an in-house editorial committee.

In case of non-compliance, the Authority may initiate proceedings under Section 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, the press release added.