ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has prohibited ‘Dawn News’ (Aurora Broadcasting Services Pvt Ltd) from airing its programme ‘Zara Hut Kay’ for a period of three days starting on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 11:00 PM to Friday, March 24, 2017, until 12 midnight.
The decision has been made under Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 (as amended by PEMRA Amendment Act 2007).
In the said programme dated March 9, 2017, 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.
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 PM 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 noncompliance, the authority may initiate proceedings under Section 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007.