‘Media not restrained from covering court proceedings’
KARACHI: The administrator judge of the ATCs has said he never restrained the media from covering court proceedings nor did he intend issuing any such restriction.
He made these observations while hearing a miscellaneous application moved by the Advocate General, Sindh.
In the application, AG Sindh Raja Qureshi had stated that the government had no objection to the media covering proceedings of the plane conspiracy case but it wanted a ban on journalists to report and publish political statements of the under-trial prisoners (UTPs).
He said it was unethical that a person who is accused in a criminal case issues political statements to prejudice proceedings against him. He pointed out to a statement of UTP Nawaz Sharif, which appeared in Sunday’s newspapers. The statement ran thus: “I did not carry out any hijacking. Rather my constitutional government was hijacked”. Qureshi said such statements created a negative impression about the trial as wed as trial court.
The counsel appearing for the accused opposed the application and stated that it went against the freedom of the press and expression. They pleaded that if the accused were denied the right of expression it would amount to holding them guilty unless proved innocent by the court.
Judge Rehmat Hussain Jaferry, after hearing preliminary arguments on the application, held that he was not in favour of placing any restriction on reporting of trial proceedings. Regarding reporting of political statements of the accused, the court thought it is necessary to hear both the parties at length on November 26.
Source: The News