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Saturday May 18, 2024

Imran Khan moves LHC after PEMRA bans him from airwaves

“PEMRA’s orders are illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution,” plea filed by Khan reads

By Shahid Hussain
March 06, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a public gathering at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on September 4, 2022. — APP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a public gathering at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on September 4, 2022. — APP

After the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the broadcast of speeches and press talks by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the politician on Monday filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC), seeking annulment of the ban.

The electronic media watchdog, in view of Khan's “provocative statements against the state institutions and their officers”, imposed a ban on broadcasting his live and recorded speeches on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.

The move by PEMRA came hours after the deposed premier — whose government was ousted from office through a note of no-confidence last April — delivered a critical speech outside his residence in Lahore's  Zaman Park where a police team arrived to arrest him in the Toshakhana case.

The petitioner accused the regulatory authority of exceeding its constitutional powers by banning the speeches of the PTI chief on TV channels.

“PEMRA’s orders are illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution,” read the plea.

The media regulatory authority issued the order by violating PEMRA Ordinance 2002, it added.

Terming the ban a “violation of basic human rights”, the petitioner pleaded with the court to declare the PEMRA’s order null and void.

Registrar office raises objection

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court’s registrar's office raised an objection to the petition, saying the petitioner did not enclose an attested copy of the PEMRA ban.

LHC’s Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan will hear arguments on the objection raised by the registrar's office to Imran Khan’s application on Tuesday (tomorrow).

It is pertinent to mention here that Khan came under the PEMRA’s restriction for the third time on Sunday.

Last year in August, the regulatory authority imposed such restrictions on Khan's speeches but the ban was lifted on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on September 6.

In November last year, the PTI leader’s speeches were again banned but the restrictions were withdrawn by the federal government on the same day.