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Imran’s Challenge to PEMRA’s Ban is Rejected by the LHC Judge

Lahore High Court judge recuses himself from hearing Imran khan’s plea against PEMRA’s ban on airing speeches

Shahid Bilal Hassan, a judge of the Lahore High Court, has recused himself from hearing Imran Khan’s appeal challenging the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)’s ban on airing his speeches. The case file was sent to the chief justice of the LHC for assignment to another bench by Justice Hassan.

On March 5, PEMRA issued an order citing Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002, allegedly alleging that Khan had been making hateful claims against government agencies on a regular basis, encouraging others to do the same through provocative statements, and upsetting public peace and tranquility.

Khan filed the petition through attorney Muhammad Ahmad Pansota, claiming that Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court had declared a similar prohibition order ultra vires the Ordinance in a case that was similar to his own.

“PEMRA has issued the impugned order in excess of the jurisdiction vested in it and without having regard to the constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution,” according to the argument made by Barrister Pansota.

“Furthermore, a straightforward reading of Section 27 demonstrates, at least initially, that it does not give the authority the right to issue a general prohibition order. The order appears to be against the proportionality principle” read the request.

He further argued that meetings of the authority, which consists of a chairman and 12 members, that call for a decision must have a quorum of at least five members in accordance with Section 8 of the PEMRA Ordinance. The chairman and each member must be given their own orders.

The order given by PEMRA is “illegal, unlawful, beyond its jurisdiction, and contrary to the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan,” according to Pansota.

Declaring that “petitioner Imran Khan has not delivered any hate speech or given any statements against the state institutions that entailed such penal consequences,” he asked the court to reverse the order.

The PTI leader and PEMRA have been engaged in a legal dispute for some time, with Khan alleging that the latter is attempting to stifle his right to free speech. Both parties are eagerly awaiting the verdict in this case.

Written by Imad Khan

Imad Khan has the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that informs, engages, and inspires. He oftens explores nature in his free time.