Pemra Authority suspends licence of 7 News for seven days

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 27 (APP):The 135th Authority Meeting of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Friday, approved suspension of ‘7 News’ licence for a period of seven days for airing concocted, unverified and unethical stories about the female students of the Government College University (GCU) Faisalabad. The false report not only damaged the reputation and goodwill of the said university but also subjected the students, their parents, friends and relatives to severe mental and psychological agony and torture.
According to the Authority’s decision the channel’s licence will remain suspended w.e.f November 1, 2017 (8.00 a.m) to November 7, 2017 (7.59 a.m). The CoC Lahore had recommended suspension of ‘7 News’ licence for one month, however, keeping in view the economy of working journalists as well as other staff members, the Authority took a lenient view and decided to suspend the channel’s broadcast for one week with the direction to air apology on screen during the suspension.
In Friday’s meeting the Authority expressed concerns over the unprofessional attitude and concocted report by the channel endangering the future of nation’s daughters. The Authority further stated that a letter may also be sent to the Government of Punjab for initiating criminal proceedings against the Directors of the channel, namely, Sheraz Hashmi, Faraz Hashmi, Mrs. Romana Asif and the management of the hospital.
The Authority also approved suspension of TV Channels Business Plus and Zaiqa TV for 30 days on non-payment of their dues for the last several years on account of license renewal. The Authority on the recommendations of the Council of Complaints (CoC) Karachi also imposed a fine of Rs 1 Million on BOL News programme “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga” hosted by Aamir Liaquat Hussain for casting derogatory remarks and false allegations on JUI-F Chief, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman for possessing a flat in London. MNA, Ms Shahida Akhtar Ali had filed the complaint against the channel.
BOL News will also have to air apology as well for remarks against Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman in the same programme at the same time, in the same manner and magnitude. Besides, tickers/scroll pertaining to apology shall also be aired during the regular transmission of BOL News. In case of repeated violation or non-compliance the Authority shall proceed for revocation of its license. The authority decision will come into effect w.e.f November 1.
The Authority also approved a request submitted by M/s Television Media Network (Pvt.) Ltd/ Tribune 24/7 for a change of satellite TV Channel language from Urdu to English.
Three FM Radio Licenses were also approved for M/s Professional Cable (Pvt.) Ltd by the Authority for the cities of Kark, Tank and Batagram. Two non-commercial FM Radio Licenses for Foundation University, Rawalpindi Campus and Institute of Business Administration, Karachi City Campus were also approved. Approval for grant of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Distribution Service License was also accorded to M/s OPTIX Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd, Karachi for Lahore Telecom Region (LTR).
The 135th Authority meeting was attended by Member Punjab, Ms. Nargis Nasir, Member KP, Ms. Shaheen Habibullah, Federal Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, Federal Information Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Khan Sukhera and Chairman PTA, Dr Syed Ismail Shah. PEMRA Chairman Mr. Absar Alam presided over the Authority meeting.