Court bars channel, its anchor, directors from maligning Jang Group
ISLAMABAD: Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) restrained ARY anchor Mubashir Luqman, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salman Iqbal and directors Haji Jan Muhammad, Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Mehboob and Anwar Maqsood from airing any defamatory or contemptuous statements against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Mir Ibrahim Rahman.
The plaintiffs Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Group Chief Executive/Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group, and Mir Ibrahim Rahman, CEO of Geo TV Network, have filed two civil suits, one against Mubashir Luqman and the other against the ARY channel and its CEO and directors.
The defendants, facing cases in different courts of the country, have not submitted their replies though over four months have elapsed. They have submitted lawyers’ powers of attorney after several months.
The counsel for the defendants, a colleague of Aitzaz Ahsan appearing on behalf of ARY News, sought some time from the court to enable Aitzaz Ahsan to file the reply. The court acceded to the request and gave the defendants two weeks to file the reply.
The counsel for the plaintiffs argued that ARY television and its anchor Mubashir Luqman had been continuously levelling false, baseless and defamatory allegations against his clients for the last four to five months.
The TV channel has been trying to injure the repute of his clients and maligning them on a day-to-day basis. The counsel for the plaintiffs also produced before the court documentary evidence in the shape of video clips and manuscripts of the defamatory statements.
He said all these allegations were false, concocted and fabricated and an attempt to tarnish the image of his respectable clients. He further argued that the right of repute was a sacred and fundamental right just like the right of expression.
The lawyer of the plaintiffs said the suits of the plaintiff companies were pending with the Islamabad High Court for quite some time in which the defendants to date have failed to file any documentary evidence substantiating their allegations as have been persistently levelled on their channel ARY News.
The counsel for the Jang Group emphasised that despite the persistent five-month-long malicious and vulgar defamatory campaign conducted by ARY News neither the plaintiffs nor any of the Urdu and English newspapers of the Jang Group nor Geo News responded by levelling any allegations against the shareholders, directors or CEO of ARY News.