IHC annuls ADSJ order for case against media group
ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended the order of an additional district sessions judge (ADSJ) Justice of Peace for registration of a case against the owner of Jang Group and GEO Television network Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and a journalist Amir Mir for allegedly maligning armed forces and ISI.
Besides suspending the orders, Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan also issued notices to the respondents in two applications moved by Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and Amir Mir challenging orders of the judge.
It was on May 3 when ADSJ Justice of Peace Muhammad Jehangir Awan, while hearing an application of a citizen Arshad Butt, had ordered Margalla police to register an FIR against both the people.
The counsels for Shakil-ur-Rehman and Amir contended before the single bench of IHC that the petitioner has no locus standi and the Defense Ministry has already lodged a complaint with PEMRA in this regard.
They maintained that it is necessary for the registration of FIR to file a complaint before a police station before coming to the court. They informed the court that an SHO had intimated ADSJ that the police received no such application but even then the judge ordered for registration of FIR. The counsels argued that the attack on Hamid Mir was also outside the territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad.
Arshad Butt, a complainant, before the court of ADSJ through his counsel Qamar Afzal Advocate opposed the suspension of orders while the court dismissed the contentions. Talking to the journalists, Arshad Butt said that the police is not lodging the FIR despite court orders and they have lodged a contempt of court application before the court of ADSJ.
COURT DIRECTS SHO TO RECORD PETITIONER’S STATEMENT
Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: A District and Sessions court on Monday directed the Islampura SHO to record statement of the petitioner who is seeking registration of a criminal case against the Geo News management including its owner Mir Shakeelur Rehman and Amir Mir for their anti-ISI propaganda after an attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir by some unidentified assailants in Karachi.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Ghulam Abbas Sial placed the order with directions to proceed in accordance with law if any cognisable offense was made out.
Earlier, the SHO Islampura had submitted his statement in this regard contending that said matter did not fall in his jurisdiction with any cognisable offence. He had said that a commission had been constituted in this regard and before findings of that commission any initiative could not be taken by the police.
The application which was submitted to him was not maintainable, the SHO added. Moreover, in this regard the competent authority is Defence Ministry which has also filed a complaint before the PEMRA which is a competent forum to redress the points raised by the petitioner.
Geo News counsel Salman Faisal argued that according to PEMRA Act 34, no petition can be filed, so this application has no standing and not maintainable.
Aftab Virk had alleged in his petition that Amir Mir intentionally spoke against a state institution without any solid evidence, which damaged the morale and credibility of Pakistan Army and other intelligence agencies of the country. He said that Geo Television and all its major anchors, after the statement of Amir Mir, directly criticised ISI and Pakistan Army which really took a bad name to the great institutions not only in the eyes of every citizen in the country but as well as at international level.