Islamabad [Pakistan], September 1 (ANI): The Islamabad High Court on Thursday ordered Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to restore ARY News transmission immediately.
The transmission of ARY News was suspended for the last 23 days by PEMRA.
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah heard the petition and directed PEMRA to immediately restore ARY News transmission as there is no written order about its closure, ARY news reported.
The chairman of PEMRA has been asked to appoint a representative to appear before the court.
If there is any written order about the closure of the broadcast of ARY News, it should be presented before the court tomorrow at 10.30 am, the IHC CJ ruled.
On August 25, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued a contempt of court notice to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman Saleem Baig on a petition over the non-implementation of the court's order to restore the ARY News broadcast.
It is pertinent to mention that in a new move against the journalist fraternity, the Ministry of Interior cancelled the NOC of ARY News without serving any notice.
The notification issued, dated August 11 to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) reads: "The NOC issued in favour of M/S ARY Communications Private (Ltd). is cancelled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies."
Earlier, on August 10, the Sindh High Court directed PEMRA and cable operators to immediately restore the transmission of ARY News, which had been suspended on orders of the government.
In the 10-page order, the Sindh High Court suspended the show-cause notice issued to ARY News by PEMRA. The court also stopped the media regulatory authority from suspending the license of TV channels till the next hearing, reported ARY News.
Prior to the issuance of the notice, ARY News went off the air in many parts of the country.
ARY News' transmission was suspended in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, and other cities.
The entire episode was perpetuated due to a news piece aired by the channel on how the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly activated its strategic media cell to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and the country's former prime minister Imran Khan.
The PEMRA issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing what it called "false, hateful and seditious content."
The court also issued notice to PEMRA and the deputy attorney general and adjourned the hearing until August 17, ARY News reported.
Soon it was revealed that PEMRA had ordered the suspension over a statement given by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehbaz Gill among other reasons, the ARY News distanced itself from Gill's statement and issued a statement on the matter.
Gill was arrested for "making statements against the state institutions and inciting the people to rebellion," according to the police.
The Human Rights Commission in Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly opposed the disruptions to ARY News and asked the country's regulatory authorities not to take channels off the air arbitrarily. (ANI)