Appointment of PEMRA's acting chief challenged

ISLAMABAD – The appointment of Pervaiz Rathore as acting chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was challenged in the Islamabad High Court on Saturday.


In his plea, Israr Abbasi, a private member of the authority, has argued that a three-member provisional committee was already working on the complaint of the Ministry of Defence against Geo News, a private TV channel. He said that the acting PEMRA chief was brought to stop the committee from its assigned task.


In his petition, Abbasi requested the court to declare Rathore’s appointment null and wide, saying it was in violation of PEMRA regulations. The petition further demanded to cancel the decisions made by the authority on June 6 in which the regulator suspended the license of Geo News for 15 days, terming the session illegal.


Abbasi maintained that PEMRA's meeting, which suspended the license of the TV channel for 15 days, was illegal and that its decision cannot be termed lawful. After announcement of the decision, Abbasi said that the government has interfered in the functioning of the authority. He said the PEMRA members were intimidated. He called the PEMRA session held on Friday as illegal.

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