ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Monday summoned CEOs of different television channels, including TV One, ARY, Geo, Bol News, Filmazia and some anchors of game shows to appear in person before the court tomorrow (Wednesday) in a contempt of court petition.

The anchors who were summoned by the court included Sahir Lodhi, Nabeel Zafar, Fahad Mustafa and Amir Liaquat. The court summoned all of them after a petitioner accused them of violating the Ramazan transmission guidelines and the IHC verdict dated May 9.

A single bench of Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui IHC issued show cause notices to the said respondents, saying why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them.

The IHC bench also directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) director general (operations) to appear before the court on the next hearing. The court issued these directions in response to the contempt of court petition filed by Muhammad Waqas Malik advocate through his counsel Inamul Rahim advocate, alleging the TV channels are violating the IHC order dated May 9 wherein they were directed to follow the Pemra guidelines for Ramazan transmissions.

The petitioner nominated Seema Taher Khan, CEO Airwaves Media Pvt Ltd (TV one) Karachi, Sahir Lodhi (host) programme Ishq-e-Ramazan, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, M/s Labbaik Pvt Ltd (Bol News), Nabeel Zafar, (host) programme Game show Aise chalega, Salman Iqbal, CEO ARY, Fahad Mustafa, (host) programme Jeeto Pakistan, Muhammad Abid, CEO Leo Communication Pvt Ltd (Filmazia) and Mir Ibrahim Rehman, CEO Geo television, as respondents. With the court’s permission, the petitioner also made Amir Liaquat respondent.

He took the plea that in the May 9 order, the IHC bench had issued certain declarations and directions to regulate advertisements, dramas and other TV programmes as per the Islamic code of life.

In the order, the IHC bench had imposed a complete ban on advertisements, dramas and films of foreign origin in Pakistan, he added.

It was also directed that no programme suggestive of containing lottery and gambling, even apparently for noble purpose like Hajj/Umrah tickets etc, shall be promoted to air either live or recorded. Programmes like Neelam Ghar and those appearing to be like circus shows must be stopped.”

The petitioner maintained that the respondents blatantly violated the direction issued by the court. TV One show Ishq-e-Ramazan hosted by Sahir Lodhi disgraced the participants of the programme and offered Umrah tickets in sheer disregard of court order while the Bol News programme “Game Show Aise Chalay Ga with Nabeel” and ARY programme “Jeeto Pakistan” also violated the court order. Filmazia TV is broadcasting an Indian drama serial ‘Kasam’ while Geo Kahani broadcasting an Indian serial ‘KUM KUM BAAGYA’ in violation of the court orders.

He continued that the respondents have no intention to comply with the order and have committed contempt of this court.

He prayed to the court to summon the respondents and initiate contempt of court proceedings against them.