TV talk shows on sub judice issues irk SC judges -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

TV talk shows on sub judice issues irk SC judges

ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: Annoyed by television channels’ free discussions on sub judice matters, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stressed that the electronic media need to devise some code of ethics to deal with sensitive matters.

“The media should devise some code of ethics since the analysts different channels invite in their programmes have neither seen the Constitution nor conversant with it but they made commentary of all sorts,” Justice Javed Iqbal observed.

These analysts, the judge observed, always choose a wrong timing and usually comment on matters which were sub judice before the court.

The observations came when Attorney General Malik Muhammad Qayyum launched a tirade against the media, saying we the government side was victim to a media trial and what ever happened to Ahmed Raza Qasuri on Monday when a lawyer sprayed black paint on his face was the result of all this.

The AG said the media was trying copy the American style of debates on presidential elections but overlooked the fact that in the American media debates were held between presidential candidates.

Referring to a recent programme on a private channel on the presidential elections, the AG deplored that here Advocate Munir A. Malik and others were representing their side while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afgan was pleading the point of view of the government, whereas the hosts or anchors of the programmes were acting as judges. “This is all Tamasha (fun),” the AG observed, adding that they should not comment on matters which were sub judice before the court.

Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi was also critical that no programmes were aired on the scarcity of wheat flour but they utilised their energy on the presidential elections.

As if the entire problem in this country revolves around President Pervez Musharraf, the AG said sarcastically adding people were rotting in jails and there were lot of problems but these were not highlighted.

“When I say something they doubt on my intentions as if to put curbs on the media,” he recalled.

At this Justice Rana Bhagwandas observed that they enjoyed freedom under Article 19 of the Constitution but the AG replied that those who get freedom should also realise about their responsibility.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/26/2007