LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday allowed electronic media to cover unofficial/unconfirmed result of the Local Bodies election due today, after one hour of the polling on the basis of Form-14 prepared by Presiding Officers.

Pakistan Broadcaster Association (PBA) and Advocate Ishtiaq A Khan had filed the petition, challenging the ban on airing unofficial result of the LG Polls imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

During the course of proceedings, the petitioner’s counsels contended that the impugned ban was in sheer violation of Article 19-A of the Constitution. They submitted that the media could not be barred from performing its duties.

A law officer on behalf of the ECP appeared before the court and presented the example of NA-122’s by-election. He argued that the commission banned coverage as the media was airing unofficial result which might have caused scuffle among the workers of the parties. The ban was imposed to avert any scuffle, the officer argued.

At this, Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan, who held the proceedings, observed that the ECP should not have imposed complete ban on media coverage of the polls status. People had the right to information which could not be curbed, the judge observed.

The judge ordered the news channels to air the results after one hour of the polling time and after checking the Form-14 prepared by the presiding officers. However, Justice Khan said that the channels should avoid from sensationalism while airing news regarding the election results.

The court adjourned further hearing for Nov 5.