suspends terrorism case proceedings against Info Secy, Chairperson PTV
ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday suspended terrorism case proceedings against Information Secretary and Chairperson PTV Shahera Shahid, Additional Information Secretary and MD PTV Sohail Ali Khan and Director News Mirza Rashid Baig.
A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri conducted hearing of the petition moved by Additional Secretary Information Shahera Shahid, Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Television (PTV) Sohail Khan and other PTV official’s petition challenging the FIRs registered against them at various police stations for airing the press conference of Federal Minister Mian Javed Latif and restrained all the provinces from any further action while it also directed that the registration of FIRs against the officials will be subject to the permission of the high court.
The IHC bench also issued notices to Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Islamabad Bar Association and Advocate General Islamabad for assistance in this case. During the hearing, Justice Jahangiri remarked that it had to be settled once for all if several FIRs could be registered across the country on one TV programme or vlog. He also remarked that what was the fault of MD PTV if a federal minister held a talk on a TV channel. The IHC bench asked that whether an FIR would also be registered against the president of the bar council if someone hold a talk in the bar.
It observed that these people used to criticise and shout when cases were registered against Azam Swati but what were they doing on their side? Justice Jahangiri further said that the FIRs were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act as they were the world’s top terrorists. On the instruction of the bench, the petitioners’ counsel read out the contents of the FIR. Additional Attorney General Munawar Dogal informed the court that the federal government had received the details of FIRs from provinces except for Punjab. He said that the federation had no control over provincial police after the 18th amendment to the Constitution. Expressing annoyance, the bench asked that how it was so; the citizens of the federal capital also had some rights. He added that a new trend of registration of FIRs across the country had been promoted.
He questioned whether there was any law or procedure in the country. The IHC bench directed to make the complainants to the two FIRs respondents in the petition and suspended actions against the petitioners under the said FIRs. Later, it adjourned the hearing in this matter till the second week of January.
The petitioners approached the IHC to quash the first information reports (FIRs) registered against them in different cities and prayed the court to terminate the cases against them by declaring the same as illegal. They adopted the stance that the petitioners are civil servants and terrorism cases had been registered against them.
They added that they are the loyal citizens of the country and they have nothing to do with any political party. They informed the court that 44 news channels including PTV broadcast the press conference of Federal Minister Mian Javed Latif and requested the court to quash the FIRs registered against them.
Source: The Nation