Access to information basic right: LHC CJ
LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Azmat Saeed has said information about court decisions should reach people as the judiciary uses the authority on behalf of the masses and it is their right to know.
Addressing a seminar titled ‘Court Reporting and Media Ethics’ at Punjab Judicial Academy, he said the right of information was not negotiable. He said access to information was a basic right of people, adding that the media could play an important role in this regard.
The chief justice said the judiciary believed in “open court proceedings” and it was mandatory that cases/trials be conducted in open courts so that people could know about them. He said a vibrant, an efficient and a bit of aggressive media was a reality in the 21st century that could not be ignored and it should be kept in context to move forward.
He said the contempt of court law did not come from heavens but it was a man-made law aimed at averting problems, which posed a hurdle to justice.
The CJ highlighted the need of regular interaction with media to avoid confusion. He said that media should attach court’s remarks with verdicts “as sometime more value is given to remarks than verdicts”. “The press cannot be made responsible only through legislation,” the CJ said, adding that the media should exercise responsibility on its own because it could not be forced. He said the media had paid a huge price for its freedom but responsibility was also attached with it.
Press Council of Pakistan Chairman Shafqat Abbasi emphasised on the need for capacity building of journalists reporting on court issues. He announced a series of programmes and seminars for court and crime reporters. Judicial Academy Chairman Justice (r) Tanveer Ahmad Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, Saeed Aasi, Irfan Siddique and Lahore Bar Association President Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali also spoke on the occasion. staff report
Source: Daily Times