SC constitutes five-member bigger bench to listen to journalists’ harassment case


The Supreme Court on Saturday constituted a five-member bigger bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Atta Bandial, to listen to the journalists’ harassment case in a bid to offer readability in respect of invocation of its suo motu jurisdiction, in line with a courtroom order.

The two-member bench of the apex courtroom on Friday had handed an order, on an software requiring motion towards harassment of journalists in Pakistan.

The two-member bench had issued notices to federal in addition to provincial authorities authorities, legislation officers of federation and provinces and issued instructions to repair the matter for August 26 earlier than the identical bench.

Read extra: FIA’s follow of ‘calling to office sans reason harassment’

Noting deviation of the mentioned instructions from the established follow of the courtroom and so as to get hold of readability, the courtroom order learn, a five-member bigger bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta has been constituted to listen to the case on Monday.

The different members of the bench included Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhbar, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, it added.

On Friday, the highest courtroom had summoned the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director normal over his division allegedly harassing media personnel.

Also learn: FIA DG informed to elucidate journos’ ‘harassment’

“The FIA seems to have overstepped its authorized mandate and … undermined the peoples’ confidence within the judiciary, which is the guarantor of elementary rights,” learn a five-page order authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa over an software submitted by the Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS).

“By such tactics, the respect, regard and confidence of the people in the judiciary may be undermined and [it] may also be disrespected and portrayed as standing with FIA,” it added.

Earlier this month, the FIA had arrested two senior journalists in Lahore for his or her “disrespectful attitude” towards the Pakistan Army, the judiciary and girls.

In a press release, it added that the 2 suspects had been launched on bail whereas the investigation towards them would proceed.

The SC famous that the FIA DG, whose permission was vital for issuance of the assertion, ought to disclose who authorised it mentioning the phrase “judiciary” and undergo the courtroom a written clarification about why he didn’t retract it later.

“The FIA DG can be directed to be current in-person in courtroom together with the whole unique file of the circumstances towards journalists in respect of whom the press launch was issued and is additional directed to submit a whole checklist of circumstances filed towards journalists,” the order learn.

“[The] checklist ought to specify the precise content material — that’s the transcript of the textual content — which the FIA deemed to represent an offence,” it added.

The courtroom additionally issued discover to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) via its chairman on complaints that journalists weren’t allowed to work freely and pursue their careers.

“[The PEMRA chairman] is directed to submit his written response disclosing action taken against the media houses/television channels which resort to such tactics,” the order learn.

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