ISLAMABAD: Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), acting on a petition filed by the federal government for lifting of stay orders the court issued three days ago, issued notices on Thursday to three private members of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).
On Monday (May 26), the IHC had stopped Pemra’s ex-officio members from holding a meeting the next day to deliberate on the Geo TV affair after hearing arguments of the three private members — Israr Abbasi, Mian Shams and Fareeha Iftikhar.
The court had also suspended show cause notices issued to the private Pemra members. The ruling further said that appointment of Kamaluddin Tipu as member of Pemra’s executive body on the orders of the prime minister was illegal as only a Grade-21 officer could be appointed as member of the body.
The three private members, too, were issued show cause notices last week after they ordered suspension of the licences of three television channels run by the Geo TV network.
However, the order was disowned by the executive member of Pemra. A statement issued on the directives of executive member Kamaluddin Tipu the same day disowned the decisions spelled out by Mr Abbasi. Decisions taken by the private members had no legal authority, Mr Tipu contended.
The federal government, in its petition filed through the deputy attorney general (DAG), maintained that the bench had suspended the show cause notices, notifications for the appointment of the executive member and the proposed meeting of May 27 without hearing its (the government’s) stance.
The DAG requested the court to withdraw the stay order issued on the petition of the three Pemra members.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2014