ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s speeches were allowed to be broadcast live on Monday after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that the Pakistani Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had erroneously cited the wrong legal provisions to block the broadcast.
On August 20, Mr. Khan criticised the Islamabad police for allegedly torturing party leader Shahbaz Gill while speaking to a crowd in Islamabad to show support for Mr. Gill, who is being held in prison on a charge of sedition. He also threatened the judge who had placed Mr. Gill on physical remand with dire repercussions.
Soon after the rally, Pemra prohibited live television broadcasts of the PTI leader’s speeches and filed a complaint against him.Through his attorney, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Mr. Khan submitted a plea to the IHC on Monday contesting the prohibition.
The attorney argued before the court and cited Pemra’s use of sections 26 and 27 to enforce a prohibition on live coverage of the PTI chairman’s statements. These sections, he claimed, could not be used in this situation since they gave the regulator the authority to oversee the broadcast of appropriate content.
Even if it didn’t, the regulator had to give Mr. Khan advance notice before forbidding the broadcast of his live speeches since Section 26 included a penalty.
The former premier planned to take part in a live telethon to raise money for flood victims, Mr. Zafar said the court.Justice Minallah questioned the attorney on the rationale behind the speech ban against Mr. Khan. He responded that on August 20, the PTI chairman had informed Zeba Chaudhry, Additional District and Sessions Judge, and the Inspector General of Police of Islamabad of the repercussions of placing Mr. Gill on a two-day physical remand.
The chief justice of the IHC was offended by the remarks made about the judge and deemed them to be unacceptable. How, in the name of the legal system’s most significant tier, can you defend using such threatening rhetoric against a judge of the lower court? The judge questioned the attorney.