islamabad - Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of Islamabad High Court (IHC) yesterday recused himself from hearing of a petition of a private television channel challenging Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s decision to ban its programme ‘Live With Dr Shahid Masood’ for 45 days.

A singe bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the petition and expressed his anger over a letter asking the court to decide the petition in favour of Dr Shahid Masood.

Expressing his annoyance over the letter, Justice Miangul refused to hear the case and referred the matter to the Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to fix it before some other bench for further proceedings. “I received a letter to pass the order in favor of the petitioner, which is not acceptable to me at any cost so I decided to detach myself from this case,” the judge mentioned before recusing to hear the case.

The counsel for ARY Shah Khawar Advocate appeared before the court and expressed his full confidence in the bench and requested him to keep up with hearing. However, Justice Miangul rejected his request and referred the matter to Chief Justice IHC.

The court was hearing the petition of ARY Communications challenging Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s decision to ban its programme for allegedly casting aspersions about chief justice Sindh High Court.

According to PEMRA, a show-cause notice was issued on July 19 and the channel was given seven days to respond, but the reply received on July 23 was “unprofessional” and no apology was tendered.

The counsel for ARY Advocate Faisal Hussain Chaudhry contended before the court that law requires thing to be done in particular manner.

The ARY in its petition before the IHC adopted that PEMRA did not hear its version and unilaterally imposed ban of 45 days. It further submitted that the respondents disregarded statement of the appellant without mentioning any lawful reason and failed to appraise the contentions raised therein whereas the stance adopted by the respondents, was considered appropriate without looking into its veracity and plausibility.

It added that the impugned order was passed without ascertaining the actual and factual position that is result of misreading and non-reading.

The petitioner stated that by stopping the prime time show for 45 days regulating authority has indirectly imposed fine to the petitioner and it will cause millions of rupees loss to the petitioner.

The counsel contended that Chairman PEMRA does not have privilege of suo moto action and any action could be initiated either on the complaint filed by a person or organisation from the public at large, he said.

He continued that moreover imposing a ban on television show does not come under the preview of the council of complaints.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside PEMRA order, declaring it unlawful and void.