Pakistan SC issues contempt notice to TV channels


The court expressed its disappointment and concern over the matter, emphasised that nowadays, false information can spread easily and that extra caution is needed….reports Asian Lite News

The Pakistan apex court has issued a contempt of court notice to television channels for airing contemptuous press conferences against the judiciary, reported ARY News.

A three-member bench — headed by CJP Isa and including Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, issued the written order of the contempt proceedings against lawmakers Faisal Vawda and Mustafa Kamal for their tirades against the judiciary.

The Supreme Court, in its written order, stated that it has issued show-cause notices to 34 TV channels, including 26 whose explanations Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa said was “not justifiable”.

“Those operating the said television channels were only issued a notice (and not a show cause notice). However, they have elected not to avail of the opportunity provided to them to reflect, relent and, if they so consider, to (apologise),” it stated, according to ARY News.

During the hearing, the order noted that it also transpired that even after the making of the “contemptuous comments” they continued broadcasting and later re-broadcast the press conferences.

The court further expressed its disappointment and concern over the matter, emphasised that nowadays, false information can spread easily and that extra caution is needed.

“We inquired whether any retraction or apology was broadcast by any of the channels, and it transpired that this was not done. We are not unmindful that being commercial enterprises television channels make money by broadcasting and advertisements,” the order stated.

The court said, “We are constrained to issue show cause notices to all 34 channels to show cause as to why they should not be proceeded against for committing contempt of court”.

The replies to the show cause notices should be submitted within two weeks, it stated.

Notably, the replies to the show cause notices should state, first, whether the press conferences were preceded with advertisements, second, whether there were any advertisements during the press conferences, third, whether upon the conclusion of the press conferences there were advertisements, fourth, whether they were re-broadcast and fifth, whether extracts therefrom were broadcast and lastly, the amounts received in payment for such advertisements, ARY News reported.

Pakistan’s apex court has made it clear that it will not tolerate any violation of its orders and will take action against those who defy its orders.

The court further warned the TV channels that they would be held accountable if they spread any false information.

Earlier this month, the court had also issued show cause notices to 34 television channels, and asked them to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for airing the lawmakers’ remarks. (ANI)

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