The Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday suspended the transmission of ARY News and Bol News for three days for not putting in place an effective “time delay mechanism” as directed by the watchdog.
On September 5, Pemra had issued directives, warning all the TV channels of strict legal action for airing any content against the state institutions and called for employing a time-delay mechanism to avoid retribution in this regard.
“It observed that satellite TV channels while giving coverage to a public gathering and speeches made thereof telecast either unwarranted or objectionable views without any editorial control and utilising effective time delay mechanism which could expunge undesirable views or statements which malign or denigrate the state institutions,” the watchdog had said.
In its orders issued today, Pemra referred to its previous statement and underlined that both the TV channels had been violating the orders.
It said the chief executive officers of both the TV channels were summoned in person, however, they filed the replies and skipped the hearing.
“In view of the written replies and sensitivity of the matter, the transmission of both channels has been suspended for three days and all cable operators have been communicated about the decision,” the statement added.
In its Sep 5 notification, the watchdog had also mentioned the Islamabad High Court’s directives to Pemra for ensuring proper utilisation of prescribed procedure regarding the time delay mechanism.
The watchdog had warned that legal action under Sections 27, 29, 30, and 33 of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 would be initiated against those violating the directives.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pemra had on Sep 5 decided to shut down the transmission of Bol News and Bol Entertainment for what it said was their failure to secure security clearance from the interior ministry.