IBA president moves IHC against channel -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IBA president moves IHC against channel

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: Incumbent President Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Naseer Ahmed Kiyani has filed a petition alongside Rao Abdur Raheem in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for not registering FIR against ARY television channel which aired allegedly blasphemous content in its morning show on May 16.

The petitioner has also assailed the orders of an additional session judge (ASJ) /Justice of Peace dated May 19, who had dismissed the petitioner’s application for registration of FIR declaring it non-cognisable and non-maintainable.

The petitioner has contended before the court that the same ASJ in the matter of an applicant Arshad Mehmood Butt had ordered for registration of FIR on May 17 against the Geo television for allegedly airing blasphemous contents.

He told the court that ARY television network in its morning show “Good Morning Pakistan with Nida Yasir” celebrated a false, fake and concocted marriage with absolutely nonsense, obscene things which were against moral, social, legal and religious teachings and practices whose fun was also made meanwhile. In the programme, a controversial song or poem was played. The anchorperson, participants and singer deliberately defamed, defiled and degraded the Quran, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Hazrat Fatima Zahra (RA) and Hazrat Ali-ul-Murtaza (RA) through movement and gestures.

The same TV channel and the persons involved in its preparation hurt sentiments of the Muslims. The blasphemous act is a cognisable offence under Sections 298, 298-A,

295-A and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code. Given the fact that the cognisable offence was made, SHO Margalla police station despite the application, did not registered the FIR. The petitioners moved an application under Section 22-A with the court of an ASJ who dismissed the application with observations “from viewing of said program, there is no indecency or any gesture, which may be treated as scandalous, malicious or outraging the religious feelings and simply airing any ‘Manqbat’ through a program, is not a crime cognizable, so the petition is not maintainable”. The matter of the petitioner was similar and identical to the case of Arshad Mehmood Butt in whose matter the ASJ had ordered otherwise and the FIR was registered, petitioner contended.

The petitioner has contended before the IHC that the ASJ’s order was illegal, unlawful and result of misreading and non-reading of the contents of the petitioner’s application. That ASJ has ignored that under Section 154, if the contents of the application/information disclose the commission of cognisable offence, the police is duty bound to register the FIR.

The petitioner further contended that the ASJ did not consider that the criminal matters couldn’t be investigated or enquired before registration of FIR.

He prayed to the court to order registration of FIR against the ARY TV channel and all those who participated in preparation of the programme.

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