Lahore High Court stays indictment of journalist
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday stayed the indictment of a journalist Rizwan-ur-Rehman Razi by a trial court in a case registered against him by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the charges of defamation and hate speech.
The court asked the FIA to submit its reply to the petition within three weeks. The petitioner through his counsel Mian Dawood contended that the trial court had dismissed the acquittal application of the petitioner on the ground that strong documentary material was available on recorded which is sufficient for conviction of accused.
The counsel, however, said there is not a single document on the prosecution record which constitutes offence or the admissible evidence on the basis of which conviction of the petitioner can be expected. The counsel said the trial court while dismissing the journalist’s application had failed to apply it judicial mind.
He further submitted that in such a scenario the process of trial of a journalist including framing of charge will abuse the process of the law in violation of freedom of press and expressions.
Mian Dawood argued that freedom of speech and freedom of press are constitutional right of the people of Pakistan as well as of journalists which cannot be snatched by state authorities.
He pointed out that the journalist was involved in a false and frivolous FIR registered with the FIA Cyber Crime Wing on the instruction and pressure of the then PTI government in 2019. He, therefore, prayed the court to restrain the trial court from indicting the petitioner journalist.
The court after hearing the petitioner’s counsel at length restrained the trial court from indicting the petitioner journalist and asked the FIA to submit its reply.
Source: Business Recorder