Notices issued to Lucman, a TV channel

ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court has issued contempt of court notice to Mubashar Lucman, anchorperson of a private TV channel, chief executive of a TV channel Suleman Iqbal, Pervez Rathore and information secretary and sought replies from them.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui remarked “as to why a commission be not appointed to expose so-called journalists to whom funds are provided from outside Pakistan, gifts are given to them and they are in contact with different embassies. Costly vehicles are given to them. These all facts should be brought to open.” The court ruled that the Supreme Court, high courts and other courts believe in independence of media and respect media. But no one has right to unleash propaganda in their programmes, he said.

A single bench led by Justice Siddiqui took up for hearing District Bar Association versus ARY News Channel case here on Friday. Former Bar president Syed Nayyab Hassan Gardezi appeared before the court arguing that derogatory programmes were being aired since some time back by a specific TV channel against judges, but no action has been taken by the government as well as PEMRA in this regard. Contempt of court plea has been filed in the court under Article 204 of the constitution.

He took the plea that judiciary was restored due to untiring efforts of legal fraternity. But the superior judiciary is being denigrated through vicious propagandas. He argued that certain material is found in ARY TV programmes through which SC was targeted. It indicates that anchorperson and its chief executive officer are working under a specific agenda. He prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Mubashar Lucman, Suleman Iqbal and information secretary.

The court ruled Mubashar Lucman was expelled from Dunya channel sometime before for this reason while the secret hands got him reinstated in another media channel. The court ruled a targeted campaign has been launched in programme “Khara Sch” which is aimed at launching propaganda campaign against courts, institutions and lawyers so that dignity of the courts could be hurt. They have crossed certain limits while conducting the programme. But no action has so far been taken by government and PEMRA.”

The learned judge remarked “as to why a commission be not constituted to probe into the assets held by the journalists sitting in these institutions, funds which are provided to them from different countries and gifts given to them. They have connections with different embassies and costly vehicles are given to them. These all facts should be brought to open. The court also issued orders for providing all the CDs of “Khara Sch”programme aired from May 22 to 31.

The court issued contempt of court notice to Mubashar Lucman, Suleman Iqbal, PEMRA chief and information secretary and directed them to appear before it. The hearing of the case was adjourned till first week of July.

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