Media Commission Case: SC givesl ast warning to submit reply
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has given last warning to seven parties, including Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Hamid Mir, to submit reply about any objections on commission recommendations in Media Commission case. The court also cleared that neither further delay would be tolerated in the case nor its hearing will be adjourned.
A three-member bench of apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad and Justice Fiaz Essa, gave this order on Tuesday.
In media commission report, parties appeared before the apex court and an associate of Aitzaz Ahsan appeared before the court. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), could not submit reply and sought more time.
Justice Dost Muhammad during the hearing remarked that the PBA was delaying the case consciously. The associate of counsel of PBA requested the apex court for some time. Hamid Mir said the PBA has not attended the meeting for the last three years. The apex court said that consensus has been done on code of conduct and order was given to the Ministry of Information to appoint Pemra chairman, and now it has also sought one month more time. Implementation was not happening due to vacation of slot of Pemra chairman.
Justice Faiz Essa remarked that code of conduct has been notified and now what would happen with the application of the PBA for delay. Additional Attorney General (AAG) appeared before the court and said that notification of code of conduct has been issued and Aitzaz Ahsan has to submit the reply on the report of the government.
Justice Fiaz Essa said that after submission of reply it would be reviewed later on. Absar Alam said that three years and three months have passed of this application. Justice Fiaz Essa said that time has not wasted; it was just possible that the PBA would not do some thing more.
Justice Dost Muhammad inquired the causes of this delay and said that there was something secret. Justice Fiaz said the government has submitted reply on the objections of report and Barrister Aitzas has argued. Justice Dost Muhammad said that he had studied the report and all matters had been discussed. There should be fair and transparent policy and people should be give accurate information and not misguide the masses. People should not be misguided by any group and commercial matters be settled and report was perfect in my view, he said.
The additional attorney general said that most of the recommendations were implemented and were recognised. The information secretary said that we have some concerns with the PTV and other matters, so how they can be merged. Justice Dost Muhammad replied that it was against the recommendations of commission about which you have pointed out.
Justice Ejaz said that issue should be resolved on factual basis; temporary solution of the issue would not be better and realistic reply of all things should come. Justice Fiaz said that written reply about objections on report should come.
Wasim Sajjad appeared before the court and said that Pemra has appointed Chaudhry Abdul Rashid as chairman and he was terminated from service illegally. On this, he moved the IHC, we received some relief but decision was given against us in intra-court appeal. The court replied that you were not prosecutor that time. Wasim Sajjad said that he was his prosecutor in the IHC and he appeared in the capital high court in person and now verdict of the IHC has been reserved and the government was busy in fulfilling this slot and court has given 30 days time.
Justice Fiaz Essa said the government had advertised this post. Wasim Sajjad said that you decide the matter and everything would be ended. Justice Essa said that you are the personality who dispatched the summery that I should appoint Pemra chairman. Wasim Sajjad denied and said that it was an allegation.
Justice Ejaz said that the IHC has been directed to give verdict, which is reserved and will not be announced till the time we would ask the government about the appointment of Pemra chairman for which it has sought 30 days time.
The AAG informed the court that case is pending in the IHC and the SC has directed the high court to set aside the matter. Pemra acting chairman is working on temporarily basis and interviews for the Pemra chairman would be conducted on September 29 and 30. The court said that it was sufficient time, further process would be done after interviews for this slot.
Justice Dost Muhammad said that when the SC issues order on the matter, then summery was not dispatched to the prime minister and only report of implementation was sent. The president is authentic appointing authority. You inform the PM and president they will only talk about approval.
After the verdict of SC, the summery will not be sent according to rules of business. Justice Essa said that government was not prepared to appoint Pemra chairman and this matter has been stopped through consensus. Justice Dost Muhammad said that even a peon is not ready to leave his seat and move to the SC, so how remaining people will leave their seats.
The court has adjourned the case by October 7.