ISLAMABAD, June 17: Against the backdrop of the controversy revolving around an off-air interaction between two television anchors and property tycoon Malik Riaz, the Supreme Court has been requested through a petition to order suspension of the licence of the private television channel that has aired the interview.

Advocate Maulvi Iqbal Haider has urged the court to suspend till the disposal of his petition the operation of the licence of Dunya News TV channel and restrain the two anchorpersons from discharging their professional duties.

The federal government through the secretary for information and broadcasting, the chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), chief executive and chairman of Dunya TV, anchors Mehr Bokhari and Mubashir Lucman, Malik Riaz, the prime minister’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani, the Islamabad SSP and Margalla police station SHO have been named as respondents in the petition.

The petition has sought a direction from the Supreme Court that under the Pemra and Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act, Pakistan Security Act and the Contempt of Court Act, the Pemra chairman and the Margalla SHO are bound to take appropriate action against the respondents.

According to the petition, Malik Riaz has attempted to malign, ridicule and disregard the chief justice through baseless and false allegations against his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.