SC drops Marriyum Aurangzeb from committee to pick PEMRA chief


Islamabad April 16 (TNS): The Supreme Court on Monday formed a search committee to pick the chief of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), which, it said, should be an independent entity and not controlled by the government.

The committee was formed by a three-member bench headed by Chief justice Mia Saqib Nisar during the hearing of the media commission case.

When Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar told the court that the government has formed a seven-member committee to pick the PEMRA chief, the chief justice said the issue should not be dragged too long and the committee should form a three-member panel to select an appropriate person for the slot within three months.

Interestingly, the chief justice dropped the name of Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb from the committee and replaced her with the information secretary, stating that “she was too busy in giving statements”.

The chief justice said that the minister will have difficulty in allocating time for the committee. The top judge may have replaced the minister after her bruising speech outside the Supreme Court building following the judgment that disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for life.

The top judge also said that they were exhibiting utmost restraint over the anti-judiciary speeches and comments by certain figures. The chief justice also said that he did not know any lion except his fellow judges and sought respect as deserved by elders in the family. In an apparent reference to PML-N male leaders, the chief justice said that “they take shelter behind women”.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

The media commission case is related to the “secret funds” used by the government to influence the media.