LHC warns of contempt action if 24News TV not fully restored
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has expressed annoyance over not fully restoring the transmission of 24NewsHD TV channel and warned the authorities concerned of action under contempt of court if the orders were not executed by Friday.
These remarks were passed by Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi who is hearing the petition filed by the City News Network against the suspension of 24NewsHD TV channel’s licence by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
During the hearing on Friday, the LHC judge remarked that they will summon someone from the Islamabad-based Authority if the 24News TV channel’s transmission is not restored by today (Friday).
On Tuesday, the single-member LHC bench had issued a stay order in favour of 24NewsHD and ordered PEMRA to restore the licence of the TV channel.
The court rejected the PEMRA’s request to not issue the stay order in favour of the channel and sought a reply from the federal government, the regulatory body and other stakeholders.
On Monday, the PEMRA, bulldozing all norms of upholding the freedom of media, shut down 24NewsHD for exposing the government actions. Some observers even declared the government's step as "economic murder" of about 1,000 families of newsmen.
The government didn’t stop there as it resorted to strong-hand tactics. The journalists staging peaceful protests against the illegal closure of 24NewsHD TV channel were fired upon and baton-charged in different cities of the country.
Shots were fired at the journalists protesting outside the PEMRA head office in Islamabad. At first, the PEMRA security guards scuffled with the journalists and then opened fire on them. The protesters were later baton-charged and also pelted with stones in the presence of the Islamabad deputy commissioner.
At Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore, some miscreants attacked the protesting camp of journalists causing head injury to one of the newsmen. The police present at the scene did neither intervene nor took any action against the attackers.
The government high-handedness against the peaceful journalists was widely condemned in the country. The leaders of all political parties strongly condemned the move, urging the government to restore the licence of the 24NewsHD immediately.