LHC stays Pemra decision to suspend TV channel 24NewsHD's licence.


Byline: Rana Bilal

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday deferred a decision by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to suspend the licence of television channel 24NewsHD over "noncompliance with its terms of licence", issuing notices to the regulatory body and the federal government and seeking their replies on the matter during tomorrow's (Wednesday) hearing.

Pemra on Friday had suspended with "immediate effect" channel 24NewsHD's licence for "illegal transmission of news and current affairs content".

According to a press release issued by the regulatory authority, the channel Value TV - for which the license was issued to Central Media Network Pvt - had "illegally" changed its name to 24NewsHD. The channel was granted the licence to air entertainment content but instead it was "persistently illegally and unlawfully airing news and current affairs in continuous violation of Pemra laws", the statement had said.

The Central Media Network had challenged Pemra's suspension in the LHC, terming it "illegal" and nominated the federal government and Pemra as respondents.

In its petition, the media network said Pemra had issued a show-cause notice to the channel on May 5, adding that the channel's representative had attended a hearing on the matter on June 1 and a written reply had also been submitted.

However, the petition said, after a decision issued by the Pemra chairman on July 3, the channel's license was suspended on "alleged violation in change of logo and content without permission". The petition also stated that the channel had applied for a change in licence category in 2015, which was "partially approved".

The petition argued that an order could not be issued solely by the chairman of Pemra and required the signatures of all...

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