Warrants for TV channel officials
KARACHI-: An anti-terrorism court issued on August25,2003 bailable warrants for the arrest of the managing director and another official of a London-based TV channel for not turning up despite the court notices.
The MD of the ARY Digital, Abdur Rauf, and its anchorman Dr Shahid Masood, were told to appeared before Judge Arshad Noor Khan of the ATC-3 in contempt of court proceedings against them and others for telecasting derogatory remarks on the judiciary by a condemned prisoner.
The judge, who had earlier served notices to staffers of ARY Digital for their personal appearance, fixed Sept 2 for taking up the matter, and ordered the four official to appear before the court.
The contempt of court proceedings against S. M. Shakeel, Abdur Rauf, Iqbal and Dr Shahid Masood of the TV channel and provincial jail chief, Brig Nisar Mehar, superintendent of Central Prison, Karachi, Rashid Saeed, and a condemned prisoner, Shaikh Muhammed Amjad, were initiated on the application filed by Fazalur Rahman.
The alleged contemnor, S. M. Shakil, and Javed Hassan Ansari, chief operating officer of the ARY Communication (Pvt) Ltd, appeared before the court and filed their respective apologies.
Mr Shakil submitted that he was working as a contractual reporter with different TV channels and newspapers, including the ARY Digital. He said: “The video reports involved in these contempt proceedings were not prepared by him, nor was he associated with the said report in any manner”.
In his unconditional apology, Javed Ansari stated that he was the chief operating officer of the ARY Communication, which was doing business of Inter Active Voice Responses System. He said the ARY Digital was a different company based in Dubai and the ARY Digital did not have any office in Pakistan.
The judge directed Mr Ansari to submit in writing about his functioning with the ARY Digital as well as about supervision and control of his services so as to determine his role.
The judge ordered him to “inform his principal officer of the ARY Digital TV in writing through fax or any other source about the proceedings pending before the court”.
Alleged contemnor Shaikh Amjad, who had kidnapped and killed Barrister Shakir Latif, the 22-year-old son of the applicant, and the jail superintendent had already filed their respective written replies.
The inspector-general of prisons, however, did not appear once again and one of his deputies told the court that Mr Mehar was still ill.
The judge gave a last chance to the provincial jail chief for his appearance in the court in person and submission of his reply.
According to the notice, the TV channel staffers recorded and telecast the interview of condemned prisoner Shaikh Mohammad Amjad, who made derogatory, insulting and objectionable assertion against the ATC-3 and apex courts.