Yahoo News barred from reporting against KBCA chief -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Yahoo News barred from reporting against KBCA chief

KARACHI – The single bench of Sindh High Court comprising of, Justice Qazi Khalid has directed the Editor of Yahoo News, Tausif Hanif to restrain publishing any news against Chief Controller of KBCA Rauf Akthar Farooqui or KBCA on Yahoo News.

The SHC single bench was hearing the defamation petition filed by the Chief Controller of KBCA, Rauf Akthar Farooqui for the damages worth Rs50 million for publishing news against the KBCA chief on Yahoo News – a weekly English Newspaper.

The Chief Controller of KBCA stated in his Civil Suit nol594/ 2007 that Editor of Yahoo News, Tausif Hanif had been publishing items, which allegedly famed him and his department.

Editor of the Yahoo News said that he was not given any legal notice about the hearing of suit against him and that he came to know about the date through his sources few days ago. So the SHC bench was requested to give him a two months time for hiring lawyer and preparation of case.

The Editor further asked the court to provide the documents which were filed against him by the KBCA Chief. Further, he stated that the court notices were being sent at his old address of Yahoo News, though he had placed notice on the wall of old address of Yahoo News about the change of address and cell number of the Editor was also written on that notice board.

The declaration of change of address was also printed in the December 2008 issue of Yahoo News prominently but no court notice was given to him. The Editor, Yahoo News told hearings were held in his absence on 12th and 17th January, 2008, and he was not informed about these two hearingsby any means from the court.

Justice Qazi Khalid ordered the Editor of Yahoo News not to publish any news against KBCA Chief, Rauf Akthar Farooqui and KBCA on Yahoo News.

The Editor of Yahoo News requested the Court that since he was not given any chance of fair hearing through his lawyer so the court should not restrain him from publishing factual reports against KBCA and its chief.

But Justice Qazi Khalid directed the Editor not to publish any news against the CCOB of KBCA, Rauf Akthar Farooqui or KBCA till the disposal of case.

Justice Qazi Khalid said in the open court that the KBCA lawyer does not know the law as if he knew he would have filed a defamation criminal case in the Sessions Court against the Editor of Yahoo News and would have obtained arrests warrants from the Sessions Courts.

The Editor of Yahoo News requested the court to restrain the KBCA Chief Controller from filing frivolous cases in different courts and issuing threats and using unfair means just to exert pressure on the Newspaper.

The Court observed that no Newspaper or Journalist could be given permission to defame any respected citizen. In reply of this Tausif Hanif told the court that he has publishing the factual reports against the malpractice of KBCA and its officials and did not publish any private matter of KBCA Chief. He pointed out that KBCA Chief, Rauf Akthar was suspended for corruption charges by the Chief Minister of Sindh in 1996 after receiving credential reports against his corruption. The previous Chief, of KBCA was also indicted in the anti-corruption court and was removed from the KBCA on these charges by the consent of the competent authorities.

The Court issued stay order against the Yahoo News and directed the Editor of Yahoo News not to publish any news against KBCA Chief Rauf Akthar Farooqui and KBCA till the disposal of case.

The hearing was adjourned for one month and the office of the SHC would fix next date.

Source: The Nation
Date:2/3/2008