ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday allowed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to hold auction of the Direct to Home (DTH) licenses.
The bidding for DTH licenses started in Islamabad.
PEMRA had filed an appeal in the apex court against a stay order of the Lahore High Court.
The counsel of the regulatory authority, Salman Akram Raja, in his argument before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court said that the high court has stayed the auction in the eleventh hour without issuing any notice to the appellant.
The bidding process of DTH licenses has been in an initial stage, the lawyer said. International companies also participating in the bidding and cancellation of the auction will be resulted in financial losses apart of damage to the national repute, the counsel said.
He also assured that the auction being conducted in accordance with the court decisions. Asma Jahangir, the counse of the cable operators, said that the auction being conducted without inclusion of her clients. The foreign companies could not be issued DTH licence under the PEMRA law, she further said.
The court after hearing the arguments of the lawyers granted permission for the auction. The bench in its short order said that the auction will be conditioned with the detailed decision of the high court.
The Lahore High Court had issued a stay order on Tuesday to halt the bidding of DTH licences on November 23.
Unlike the traditional cable connections, DTH service is a digital setup that broadcasts channels directly to homes from satellite using small dish antennas.
Pemra on November 12 had shortlisted 12 companies for participation in the first auction on November 23 (today) for DTH service licences. After the apex court decision PEMRA has announced that the bidding will start shortly at a hotel in Islamabad. NNI