Plea against live TV coverage of PTI sit-in dismissed with fine
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday fined the Shuhada Foundation for filing a ‘frivolous’ petition against the live coverage of the ongoing ‘sit-in’ by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Before dismissing the petition after initial hearing, Justice Athar Minallah directed the petitioner to deposit the fine amount of Rs5,000 with the missing persons’ non-governmental organisation – Defence of Human Rights – led by Amna Masood Janjua.
The Shuhada Foundation was established last year by the clerics of Lal Masjid. The foundation is pursuing the Abdul Rasheed Ghazi murder case against former president retired General Pervez Musharraf in the sessions court of Islamabad.
It may be mentioned that in June this year on a petition of the Shuhada Foundation, the IHC had stopped a private television channel from airing a talk-show in which the anchor allegedly maligned a judge of the Supreme Court.
The foundation in its latest petition contended that the PTI’s sit-in had virtually turned into a musical concert which started in every evening and ended after midnight with performances of top singers and celebrities in between the speeches of the party leaders.
IHC directs Shuhada Foundation to deposit the Rs5,000 fine with Defence of Human Rights Tariq Asad, the petitioner’s counsel, argued that famous PTI disc jockey D.J. Butt smartly mixed recorded music for the audience during the speeches and performances, keeping the environment charged.
Almost every speech included a song or two, followed by a break. When the leaders take breaks, the music continues to be played to entertain the audience, he added.
He said it seemed the trick had worked in attracting large crowds during the evening as the people visited the sit-in along with their families for fun and entertainment.
A large number of participants are teenage boys and girls, who are not even registered voters but come to the venue with friends to enjoy an evening of fun, he said.
He alleged that during singing the young boys and girls danced together in an ‘immoral’ way.
The petition also criticised the PTI chief for announcing to marry in the ‘Naya Pakistan.’
He alleged that some private TV channels were telecasting the dances of girls and boys in the ‘sit-in’ in such an immoral and obscene way that it was injuring the feelings of the citizens.
However, Justice Minallah observed that the petition was ‘frivolous’ and nothing but wastage of the court’s time.