Court: SC bars PEMRA’s acting chairman from work

ISLAMABAD: Hearing pleas seeking formation of a judicial commission for media’s accountability, a two-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday barred the acting chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority PEMRA Dr Abdul Jabbar from discharging his duties.

The bench comprised Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain. The pleas were filed by TV anchors Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, requesting the court to form a commission that will be responsible for inquiring about the source of income of TV channel owners, advertising agencies and anchorpersons.

At the onset of hearing, the court noted that PEMRA had been failed to appoint a permanent chairman for the last one and a half year. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja noted that Dr Abdul Jabbar was appointed as a caretaker, however he had been passing orders in abundance, thus he could not continue any further as the acting chairman.

Meanwhile, the court directed the government to appoint a permanent chairman and adjourned further hearing for one week. The pleas have stated that secret funds of various ministries were being used to manipulate the media and requested the court to make the details of such funds public.