SC seeks Pemra, PTA replies over airing of obscene content on TV channels
ISLAMABAD—The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to submit comprehensive replies over airing and advertising of objectionable and obscenity content on television channels.
The three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the case filed by late Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and a letter written by retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed to the Chief Justice, seeking directives to set appropriate standards for checking obscenity in media content, particularly dramas aired by different television channels.
During the course of proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked that some TV channels were promoting specific communities and channels were bribed to air programmes slander someone they will. He remarked that Pemra only issued warnings but did nothing substantial. Had the Pemra’s code of conduct followed properly by the channels there would have been no problems, he added.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that participants of talks shows used slang language. The media had the right to criticize but they have no right to cross the red line, he added. The court asked the counsel for Pemra as to whether anti-democracy talks were held on TV channels or programmes containing content against the ideology of Pakistan and for promoting extremism in the country were aired.
The Pemra’s counsel told the court that the Authority issued notices to television channels who had violated the code of conduct. On which the Chief Justice remarked that there should be exemplary punishment for those who violated Pemra’s code of conduct. He observed that if Pemra strictly implemented its Rules then such problems could not arise. The counsel told the court that Pemra imposed fine of Rs 1 million on a TV channel but it got stay order from the high court. He suggested the Pemra laws should be made stricter. Later, the case was adjourned for one month.
Meanwhile, it is reported from Peshawar that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) KP Council of Complaints (COC) would hold 66th meeting on May 26 under its Chairman Shakil Chander. The meeting to be attended by Re-gional General Manager COC, Rahat Ali and members including Abdus Sattar Khan, Farah Khan, Muhammad Irshad, Syed Hammad and Farrukh Sultan would discuss various agenda matters.
The meeting would also consider com-plaints of consumers regarding Cable TV and FM Radio according to a release issued here on Tuesday. The consumers have been urged to send their written complaints to Secretary before May 26. The meeting would also give complainants a chance to appear for presenting their stance in person.