Pemra slaps Rs1mn fine on Geo News for programme deemed 'highly seditious and scandalous'

August 06, 2019

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Pemra warns Geo News of license suspension in case of non compliance and repeated violation. — Photo courtesy of Geo News
Pemra warns Geo News of license suspension in case of non compliance and repeated violation. — Photo courtesy of Geo News

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Tuesday slapped a fine of Rs1 million on Geo News for airing a "highly seditious and scandalous programme against National Accountability Bureau Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal and maligning state institutions".

According to Pemra, anchorperson Shahzaib Khanzada in his programme "Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Kay Sath," on July 18, discussed the matter of a scandalous video targeting the NAB chairman unilaterally, without taking into account the point of view of NAB.

The electronic media regulatory body in a statement said that Geo News, by airing the content, violated the "Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015 and orders of the Supreme Court".

"Geo News, in its reply and arguments made by its representative during the personal hearing, failed to defend the allegations leveled in the show cause [sent to the channel]," read the statement.

The media regulator also warned the channel that in case of non compliance and repeated violation, strict legal action will be taken, which may result in suspension of license given to Geo News.

Pemra also directed Geo News to constitute an in-house editorial committee to vet the content before airing.