LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has been moved to order an action against Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman Absar Alam for suspending the transmission of private news channels unlawfully regarding a police operation against the participants of Islamabad sit-in.
Amina Malik of the Civil Society Network made this request in a petition calling the act of Pemra’s chairman a clear violation of articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution, which guarantee right to information.
The petitioner states the role of Pemra’s chairman has been partisan; it totally failed to function independently as required by the law. She says Pemra can only stop the channels from covering an event unless it amounts to defamation, contempt of court or hate-speech.
She says the appointment of Mr Alam as Pemra’s chief was also challenged before the high court for being made in violation laws.
The petitioner asks the court to declare the order of the media regulatory authority’s chairman as unlawful and order an action against him.
Teacher’s plea: The Lahore High Court issued on Monday a notice to the Punjab secretary of the school education department on a petition by a teacher allegedly terminated for being an Ahmadi.
Shaukat Rauf contended that he had been terminated without being given an opportunity of defence merely on complaint lodged by a fellow teacher. The petitioner said he was a true Muslim having firm believe in finality of prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) and had PhD degree in Islamiat.
He pleaded that his point of view was not heard by the authorities in a departmental inquiry, which was in sheer violation of fundamental right of fair trial.
He said the court had directed the respondent secretary to decide his departmental appeal against the termination but the order had not been complied.
The petitioner said the secretary committed contempt of court by not implementing the order and was liable to be punished under the relevant law.
Justice Jawad Hassan heard the arguments and sought a reply from the respondent secretary in a fortnight.
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2017