SC takes exception to media coverage of forest land case
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed on Monday that the media was much active with regard to the applications for postponement of Bahria Town related cases and this situation was putting the credibility of the media at stake.
He observed that no sooner was the application for the postponement submitted in the office of the apex court than it was flashed on the media.
He said except for Bahria Town, no other postponement application appeared on the media.
He said, “Where we want to see strong media and Parliament, we also want to have a strong Supreme Court.”
The three-member apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qazi Faez Isa took up the case pertaining to the grabbing of forest land of Takht Pari and Lohi Bher, Rawalpindi.
During the hearing, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that flashing news about the application to put off the Bahria Town case was the violation of journalistic code of conduct.
Ali Gohar said the news was not based on Bahria Town press release but it was issued by Online agency.
The petitioner, Malik Muhammad Shafi, said that the media was carrying the news about the application submitted by Bahria Town Counsel Aitzaz Ahsan for putting off the Bahria Town case while his arguments which he presented before the court in more than an hour had not been reported in media.
On this occasion, Bahria Town representative Col (R) Khalilur Rehman approached the court introducing himself. At this, Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawja asked if his parents had got Colonel written with his name.
Justice Dost Muhammad Khan asked him how many Colonels, Brigadiers and Generals were the employees of Bahria Town.
To this, Col (R) Khalilur Rehman replied that Bahria Town was a big company and a large number of people were working there.
He asked the court where they should go to seek justice as their opponents were allowed to give arguments for hours. At this the court admonished him in strong terms and asked Ali Gohar advocate to educate him about the court decorum otherwise the court might proceed against him.
The court observed that no Bahria Town counsel was present in the court nor was there any representative of the Town so they should present advocate-on-record before it or the chief executive of the Bahria Town should appear before the court.
However, advocate-on-record M S Khattak appeared in the court after sometime and said that he had to consult his client in this regard.
The court asked Ali Gohar advocate to depose before the court even if he was not enrolled with the apex court
but he also showed his inability in this regard and therefore, the court reserved the judgment.
Earlier, the apex court rejected the application of Aitzaz Ahsan for the postponement of Bahria Town case.
Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja during the hearing observed that in past, in the fairy tales jungles were heard to be disappeared suddenly, and now with the reported nexus, the same was being done as jungles were disappeared and there was no one to take notice of such wrongdoings.
He said when the court took notice of such irregularities, the apex court was blamed for transgressing its limits.
The Katchi Abadis were removed, while on the grabbing of huge lands by the influential, the government remained silent, he said.
Justice Dost Muhammad Khan asked if goats had eaten up such a large forest. Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed that the court had granted postponement of the Bahria Town for ten times and no further allowance could not be granted.
The same court reserved judgement in another case, DG Anti-Corruption Establishemt vs Chairman NAB, because of non-appearance of counsel for Bahria Town.