Islamabad - A private television channel yesterday moved the Islamabad High Court against imposition of fine by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for urging army chief in a programme to take over the country.

Council of Complaint (CoC) of PEMRA on the complaint of an E-11 resident Shanila Sikandar had imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 against ARY channel on April 04, 2016.

PEMRA’s CoC in its order said, “ARY news be fined with Rs 100,000 and be issued warning for airing contents that tend to debase and demean a group of persons, that incite, directly or indirectly, dislodgment of the democratic setup when the fact is that all members of the armed forces take oath that they will bear allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and not engage in any political activities whatsoever.”

In its petition, the petitioner ARY challenged PEMRA’s decision and cited PEMRA, its CoC and Shanila Sikandar as respondents.

The private TV channel moved this petition through Ehtasham Aslam Khan Advocate and contended before the court that PEMRA’s CoC did not consider its point of view and decided the matter in a very hasty manner and unilaterally. Hence the decision is illegal, arbitrary and void ab initio.

The complainant Shanila Sikanandar had lodged a complaint before PEMRA saying that an ARY talk show anchorperson openly invited the Army Chief to take over the charge and do accountability of the politicians.

The petitioner in its petition said that the anchorperson himself appeared before the CoC where complainant alongside her lawyer was also present. After discussion it was accepted that no violation was done but later on PEMRA imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on ARY.