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Monday March 04, 2024

PEMRA notification banning Imran Khan’s live speeches suspended

CJ IHC Athar Minallah says prima facie PEMRA did not have the authority to impose a ban on live broadcast

August 29, 2022
Former prime minister Imran Khan addresses a rally in Islamabad in this file photo. -AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan addresses a rally in Islamabad in this file photo. -AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended the order of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) that banned the broadcast of Imran Khan’s speeches live on TV.

The order came today during the hearing of a petition filed by the PTI chairman against the ban imposed by the media regulator earlier this month after.

During the course of the proceedings, Barristers Ali Zafar urged the court to lift the PEMRA’s ban as the PTI chairman wanted to do a live telethon later today to raise funds for flood affectees.

After hearing the arguments, the IHC chief justice suspended the notification and issued notices to the regulatory authority and Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali.

The PEMRA ban came into place on August 21 after the PTI chairman threatened state institutions and government officials with serious consequences.

PEMRA's notification said that Khan's addresses are in open violation of the regulator's rules and Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

According to the regulator, the ban has been put in place under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002. The PEMRA notification cited Khan's speech at the F9 Park, Islamabad as the reason behind the ban.

Apart from the ban, Khan is also facing contempt of court proceedings for threatening Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry during the same speech.

The IHC has constituted a five-member larger bench to hear the contempt of court case against the former prime minister and issued a notice to him to appear before the court on August 31.