Court quashes plea against APNS -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Court quashes plea against APNS

LAHORE: The court of senior civil judge, Lahore, has returned the plaint which was moved by Pakistan Editor’s Council through its chairman Zia Shahid, while accepting the plea filed by All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) through its President Arif Nizami.

The civil judge Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah after hearing the parties at length accepted application of the APNS that this court in Lahore lacked territorial jurisdiction to deal with the instant plaint wherein court protection was sought against any adverse proceedings against any member of the Council by the Society.

In the detailed judgement, the court concluded that the plaintiff council has apprehended infringement of its members rights from the Society and Arif Nizami has been sued as president of this body. Therefore, residence of both of them is to be taken as head office of the Society that is situated in Karachi.

Since place of the residence of both the defendants for the purpose of this suit is at Karachi and alleged course of action, if any, apparently has arisen outside the territorial jurisdiction of this court. Therefore, this court lacks territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter, the court held while accepting the application filed by the society and Nizami for return of the plaint. The court while returning the plaint to the Council allowed filing of the same before the court of competent jurisdiction. The cause of action of the Council plaint was a press release issued by ANPS on July 5 last which carried decisions taken by the executive committee of the Society to fight out conspiracy aimed at disrupting unity in the ranks of the newspapers and to foil every effort which intended to divide the industry into different factions.

The court while proceeding the plaint of July 14 last passed an interim order in favour of the plaintiff. Subsequent to that the Society filed two applications through Umar Atta Bandial and Muhammad Raza. The first plea assailed maintainability of the plaint under section 24, 151 and Order 7 Rule 10 of the CPC on the ground that the suit has been filed with ulterior motives. It was contended the APNS is a registered Society which has its registered office in Karachi whereas Nizami has been impleaded in his capacity as president of APNS as such for the purpose of this suit, they both were residents of Karachi.

It was further pleaded that the cause of action has arisen in Karachi, therefore, the civil court in Lahore on all these counts lacks territorial jurisdiction to proceed with the suit. The plaint was questioned also on the ground that the plaintiff Council has not obtained prior permission from this court to institute a case against the non-resident, APNS and thus has failed to fulfil a legal requirement.

The Society prayed to the court for returning the plaint as a civil court in Lahore did not have territorial jurisdiction to try the same. The other application filed by the Society under Section 151 CPC read with Order 7 rule 11 of the CPC prayed for dismissal of the plaint inter-alia on the grounds that the grievance in the plaint is without any basis. That plaintiff Council is an unregistered body which under the law is not competent to institute legal proceedings like to one in hand, it said adding, the plaint as such, may be rejected as barred by law. The court in the course of proceedings decided to deal first with the issue of territorial jurisdiction.

It heard the parties on both sides on October 2 last when the matter was further adjourned till October 4 on which date both the sides made submissions at length. The court after considering the issue from all sides inclined not to extend the interim relief granted on July 14 to the plaintiff. On return from leave, the judge resumed hearing of the matter on December 10 when both the sides argued. The court after hearing the parties
Source: The Nation