Lahore High Court serves notice to PEMRA for banning Indian TV content

Lahore High Court served notices to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Federal Information Ministry and sought reply from them by February 9. Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order on petition filed by M/S Leo Communication.

In October 2016, Pemra imposed complete ban on airing of Indian content in Pakistan and directed all satellite television channels and radio stations to follow the code of conduct or face repercussions. Advocate Taffazul Rizvi, counsel for petitioner, said his client in 2010 had been granted a 15-year licence by Pemra to operate a cable channel, ‘Filmazia’ and under the licence it was allowed to broadcast 10 per cent of foreign content including Indian.

He argued that Pemra, without citing any legal reason in October, 2016 issued an order to ban all Indian content on cable channels in Pakistan. He further said “The government is indulging in selective patriotism as Indian movies are allowed to be exhibited in cinemas all over the country showing its double standards.”

The petitioner prayed the court to set aside the circular issued against them and allow them airing foreign content. After hearing the arguments, LHC Chief observed that when Indian movies are being screened in cinemas in the country then what reason Pemra or government has to ban Indian content on Pakistan TV screens. The court adjourned the hearing till February 9.

Rimsha Butt