LAHORE–The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the PEMRA to administer a ban on any contemptuous and ridiculing material against the judiciary or the judges being broadcasted on private Television Channels.

The court’s, in interim order, had restrained all the TV channels from airing TV programs, press conferences and interviews in which guests were found laying allegations on the judges or criticizing the judiciary.

As the court resumed hearing on a petition moved by Shumail Paracha, it was informed that Chairman Pakistan Electronic Medical and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had not yet submitted his reply before the court.

Petitioner’s counsel pointed out that the judiciary was still being criticized in many TV programs, which was violation of court orders.

A PEMRA legal advisor told the court that notices had been issued to some TV channels while programs were also being monitored regularly. He requested the court to allow more time to file the reply on behalf of the chairman.

The court accepted his request and extended the stay order till Nov 29.

The court had also ordered the PEMRA’s law officer to ensure the court order and convey it to all parties of the petition including TV channels.

The petitioner submitted that suspending, forcibly removing or compelling the judges to resign through a coordinated plan and other media campaign was totally unconstitutional, illegal and an attempt to ruin the institution of judiciary.

The counsel said that few months ago, a property tycoon Malik Riaz had started a filthy media campaign against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary and other judges. They maintained that two senior journalists disclosed anti-judiciary elements in different TV programs which had support of government functionaries.

He said a criticism made to lower the dignity of judiciary and destroy public confidence couldn’t be ignored. The administration of justice was the foundation of the rule of law and if there were no course or adjudication bodies, the rule of law couldn’t be enforced, the counsel added. He pointed out the PEMRA should immediately issue a written direction to all national news broadcasters that they must not broadcast any interview or press conference that may contain any defamatory material.