LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) ruling banning the broadcast of speeches by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was suspended on Thursday by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The stay of the decision was ordered by Judge Shams Mehmood Mirza in a verdict he had reserved earlier today. The court submitted the matter to the Chief Justice of the LHC after also granting the PTI chief’s appeal for the establishment of a full bench.
The hearing was postponed until March 13 by the court after announcing the verdict.
The live broadcast of the ousted prime minister was banned by Pemra on Sunday after he criticised state institutions amid the turmoil surrounding his detention at Zaman Park for the Toshakhana case.
Khan then submitted a petition to the LHC asking for the ban to be lifted, claiming that the regulatory body had overstepped its legal jurisdiction by placing the limitation.
Judge Mirza of the LHC heard the plea today and enquired into the legal basis for the claim.
Khan’s attorney informed the court that the Islamabad High Court had also lifted a prior ban issued by Pemra.
At this point, Pemra’s attorney disagreed with the contention and asserted that the IHC, not the LHC, had jurisdiction over the case.
The attorney argued that a case of a similar kind had already been considered by a five-member bench on Monday while pleading with the court to assign the plea to a larger bench.
The LHC had not yet made a decision at this point.
LHC seeks security plan for Imran Khan
The PTI head also asked for protection and permission to appear in court via video link, and the high court heard that separate petition in the meantime.
The individuals connected to the remedy requested in the petition, according to the court, were not even parties to the case.
Salman Safdar, Khan’s attorney, then informed the court that some of the parties had been dropped from the petition as a result of the plea’s objections being raised.
He stated that the plea was entered on Monday and set for yesterday’s hearing after objections were raised.
Judge Abid Aziz Sheikh then noted that the petition was extremely ambiguous.
The attorney was questioned by the judge if they desired flawless protection for Khan.
Does an ex-prime minister receive security, it questioned.
The attorney gave a positive response to this as Judge Sheikh gave him instructions to amend the petition.
Bring the petition with the necessary corrections, and the court will consider it today, he continued.
Khan’s attorney informed the court that the changes to the plea had been made when the hearing was resumed.
He insisted that there was a legislation requiring former premiers to have security.
He informed the court that although Khan had received security, it had been removed as of January 19.
The federal government’s attorney responded by asserting that the provinces were responsible for providing security.
Justice Sheikh noted that there was a security issue in this court, but advised the petitioner to request authorization from the appropriate court to appear via video link.
After receiving instructions on the supply of security by Monday, the court then ordered the attorneys for the provincial and federal governments to assist it.
Khan’s attorney then asked the court to immediately give Khan security.
The Punjab Inspector General of Police and the Home Department received letters from the court, who instructed him to wait until the government’s attorneys presented the security plan.