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IHC to decide appeal against Ramazan game shows order on 21st

By Our Staff Reporter 2018-05-18
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on an appeal seeking to set aside its earlier order that had barred private television channels from airing game shows, especially during Ramazan.

The division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani is likely to announce its order on Monday (May 21).

The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) challenged IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui`s order of May 9 that had barred private TV channels from airing game shows likeNeelam Ghar. It had also directed that no programme besides those under the guidelines of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) would be aired during Ramazan.

PBA`s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued before the court that his client was aggrieved by the single bench`s order which had imposed a complete ban on certain programmes like Neelam Ghar and issued various directions to the channels on what to show and what not to show as well as the timings of the programmes. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had also formed a censor board to view programmes and also set up a committee to oversee the workings of Pemra.Barrister Zafar said that the May 9 judgement has also banned entertainment programmes before 9pm during Ramazan on the assumption that these were immoral and indecent. He argued that the single judge had no jurisdiction under the Constitution and the law to pass such directions. Under Article 19, freedom of speech and expression and freedom of press are fundamental rights guaranteed to the people and only the parliament can impose reasonable restrictions on these rights only through laws.

The PBA`s counsel said that the judgement was wholly illegal and void as no court could impose its version of indecency and morality on the public.