The Supreme Court on Monday suspended an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order to seal the offices of Bol TV and ARY News in the federal capital, hours after it was issued.
Earlier today, IHC judge Justice Shaukat Siddiqui had ordered the Capital Development Authority to seal the offices of Bol TV, ARY News and Capital TV for violating the regulations on the nonconforming use of residential buildings if the channels failed to vacate the premises within two hours.
The offices were later sealed after the media houses failed to comply with the high court's order.
Hours later, Bol TV and ARY News filed a petition before the apex court, claiming that the IHC had issued the order "without listening" to the media houses. The counsels of the channels further argued that the sealing of the offices had led to disruption in transmission.
Later in the day, the apex court ordered the CDA to de-seal the offices and summoned the record of IHC's proceedings of the case. The top court also ordered the CDA chairman to appear before a three-member SC bench — to be headed by the chief justice — on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the SC ordered Bol TV and ARY News not to park vehicles in the residential areas where their offices are located so that residents are not disturbed.
In the past few months, the IHC had ordered the CDA more than once to ensure that all media houses operating in residential areas moved out and stopped the nonconforming use of premises failing which action may be initiated against them in accordance with the CDA law and regulations which include sealing and cancellation of the leases.