IHC issues notices to secretaries, Pemra chief
Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued notices to federal secretaries of information, interior and chairman PEMRA in a petition seeking court’s directions to restrain TV channels from telecasting any malicious campaign against the superior judiciary and Armed Forces.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also directed the respondents to submit a report in this regard within a fortnight and deferred the hearing till the third week of March.
The single bench of IHC issued these directions in the petition moved by Shohada Foundation Pakistan (SFP) through its counsel Tariq Asad Advocate. The counsel argued before the court that Pakistan Army is sacred institution of the country but some TV channels are airing programmes to defame it.
Earlier, the Foundation had moved the court seeking its directions to restrain the TV channels from telecasting malicious campaign against the superior judiciary and Armed Forces and made secretary information, secretary interior and chairman PEMRA as respondents.
The petitioner had maintained in the petition that the superior courts particularly the apex court had played an active role during the past few years to curb the corrupt practices and misappropriation of funds by the functionaries of the executive, in an independent manner without fear or favour; hence those who were involved in such practices, launched an alleged movement against the Supreme Court and the armed forces through electronic media.
“Some anchors and the TV channels have been highly bribed to malign the judiciary vindictively as well as the Armed Forces in a clandestine manner; they are thus organising programmes in a malicious and contemptuous manner ignoring all the norms, moral principles and code of conduct of journalism and code of conduct embodied by the respondent No. 3,” he added.
The petitioner’s counsel remarked that TV media played a positive role in the case of cause of the ‘bar and bench’ which was certainly commendable as it was for the promotion of administration of justice and independence of judiciary.
But, he added that recently they are being sponsored by some quarters to launch a campaign against the superior judiciary and the armed forces.
The counsel stated that some TV channels and their anchors are consistently organising deliberately such programmes wherein contemptuous remarks against the judges and the judgments of superior courts throwing sludge on them prejudicial to the independence of judiciary resulting to undermine the confidence in the minds of people.
He maintained that unfortunately the institutions and systems are deteriorating, TV channels comment in a humiliating manner on the judges and the judgments with mala fide intentions which is undoubtedly contempt of court under law of the land.
The petitioner said that they are, thus, liable for contempt of court as those comments really have the tendency to substantially prejudice the hearings of the case and to interfere the courts of justice on the one hand and are liable to be dealt with under Section 500 read with Section 499 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Therefore, he prayed the court that it may take action against respondent No. 3 failing to take any substantial steps from restraining the TV channels from telecasting and thus allowing the anchors and the TV channels to telecast live transmissions in violation of their code of conduct in compliance with the order of this court.
He further prayed to the court to pass an identical order to the respondent No. 3 to restrain the TV channels from telecasting programmes prejudicial to the integrity and dignity of the institution of armed forces in a clandestine manner.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the law enforcing agencies to register criminal cases against those who are responsible to commit the offence of defamation under Section 499 of PPC.
Meanwhile, a single bench of IHC accepted an application of early hearing of a petition in which SFP had prayed the court to transfer Ghazi Abdul Rashid murder case from sessions court to Islamabad High Court.
The IHC bench comprising of Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi issued these directions in the application moved by the SFP.
During the hearing, the counsel for Shuhda Foundation of Pakistan advocate Tariq Asad argued that he did not expect a transparent trial of the case. Therefore, he requested the court that the trial of the case should be transferred from a sessions court to the High Court.
Shuhda Foundation of Pakistan Trust (SFPT) had filed the application through its counsel advocate Tariq Asad in the petition relating to the FIR No. 525/2013.
The petitioner prayed to the court that all the petitions and proceedings moved with respect to the instant case against General (R) Pervez Musharraf for safe administration be heard in original jurisdiction in the IHC as the trial court not taking the charges so seriously.
Counsel for the petitioner maintained before the court that the investigation of the said case is in progress and the co-accused are also required to be interrogated. Since one the accused, namely Pervez Musharraf had been the Chief Executive of Pakistan exclusively in the administrative and civil capacity during the period when multiple murders were committed and huge damage to the religious buildings containing very important historical research material, hundreds copies of Holy Quran and Ahadith were also subjected to destruction.
“From the debris of Jamia Hafsa, along with limbs of human bodies, hundreds torn and burnt pieces of Holy Quran had been recovered which was a unique incident of sacrilege of Quran,” he added.
The petition stated that the object of the operation was “not only to commit multiple murders of the religious scholars, preachers, teachers involved in the learning objective of Quran and Sunna, but was also aimed for destruction of mission of preaching of Islam which prima facie was tantamount to the commission of the offence of blasphemy.”
Therefore he prayed that all the petitions and proceedings moved with respect to the instant case against General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf for safe administration be heard in original jurisdiction in the high court.
He further prayed that apprehending justice at the hands of investigation agency the record of the case be called for by this curt in order to safeguard the interest of complete and safe administration of justice.