ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restored the transmission of ARY News, and allowed the channel to broadcast recorded programmes for the time being.

The order came a day after Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) suspended the transmissions of ARY News and Bol News for three days.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up the petition filed by the channel and observed that the Pemra’s directive was not in conformity with the principle of proportionality.

Even if the time-delaying mechanism was not installed, the suspension of the transmission was ‘an excessive exercise of authority’.

The Authority could have nominated an officer to verify whether the channel had installed the time delaying mechanism, remarked Justice Minallah.

The court observed that it appears “the proceedings were concluded in haste and in violation of the principles of natural justice”.

The court directed the Pemra to restore the transmission to the extent of the recorded programmes and nominate an authorised officer to verify whether time-delaying mechanism has been installed or not.

In the petition filed through its counsel Advocate Kashif Ali Malik, the channel contended the Pemra’s actions were in the nature of “ex parte” as the authority had refused to allow an authorised representative to appear while the chief executive officer was out of the country.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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