Imran Khan files contempt plea against Pemra in LHC

PTI chief Imran Khan gestures while addressing supporters during a rally in Lahore on April 21, 2022. – Reuters
  • In the application, action has been requested against the officers responsible for contempt of court.
  • “Pemra willfully violated the court order,” reads Khan’s petition.
  • The watchdog had banned the PTI chief’s speeches on March 5.

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan filed a contempt petition on Saturday. Lahore High Court (LHC) against Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

In his petition, Khan claimed that the electronic media regulator had not lifted the ban on his speeches despite court orders.

Last month, the Provincial Supreme Court suspended Of Pemra Notification banning broadcast of PTI chief’s speeches on television channels.

In view of his “provocative statements against state institutions and officers”, Pemra banned. On March 5, Khan’s live and recorded speeches were immediately broadcast on all satellite TV channels.

In the petition filed by the PTI Chairman, it has been stated that the court had directed PEMRA not to impose any ban on broadcasting the speeches of the former prime minister, which are being prevented from broadcasting despite the orders and the authority’s action was considered contempt of court.

“That the respondent has failed to comply with his constitutional obligations as envisaged under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973,” read Khan’s petition.

In the application, action has been requested against the officers responsible for contempt of court under Article 204 of the Constitution.

The respondent should be summoned under Article 204 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 and punished for willful contempt of its order. Honorable Court,” the petition read.

The former prime minister wrote in his petition that PEMRA’s actions are contrary to Article 10-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The same is bad in law, being ‘ultra vires’ of the Constitution, illegal, without jurisdiction, against the fundamental rights of the petitioner and of no legal effect. In view of this, the respondents should refrain from acting against the interests of the petitioners and against the law and the constitution.

It added that the electronic media watchdog is “discriminatory, oppressive, unjust, and violative of fundamental rights, particularly by denying citizens access to justice for a fair trial and the rule of law and Violation of due process of law”.

“This wrongful act of the respondent is ‘ultra vires’ under Articles 8, 9, 18, and 25 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973,” the petition said.

Khan also said that Pemra had “deliberately” violated the court’s order, causing damage to its dignity and respect. The watchdog, by flouting the order, has mocked the authority of the court resorting to flagrant disobedience. Therefore, it is “liable to be punished according to the law of the contempt court.”

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