Probe into alleged audio clip of IK’s wife, Dr Arslan: IHC grants extra time to counsel over maintainability issue
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted time to the petitioner’s counsel to assist the court over the maintainability of a petition praying the court to probe the alleged audio leak of former prime minister Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi and his former focal person on digital media Dr Arslan Khalid.
A single bench of Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition moved by a citizen, Mohammad Arshad, through his counsel Advocate Asif Gujjar.
During the hearing, Justice Aamer asked the counsel that an audio has been leaked and do you want the court to issue a direction to investigate the leaked video. He inquired if it is the IHC’s job to order an investigation. He further asked the lawyer how his client was an affected party.
The judge also said that how could the court issue a writ over a private conversation between two people. He further said if the actual affected party approached any forum against the leaked audio.
Then, the petitioner’s counsel said it was an entire “sea of words” that had been written in that plea.
At this, Justice Aamer remarked that the court did not care if it was “a sea or a galaxy” because it could not investigate everything.
The court then confronted the counsel as to the maintainability of the petition on the question of locus standi, as the instant petition is in the nature of mandamus and the petitioner does not seem to have locus standi in the matter.
At this, the counsel sought time to assist the Court on the legal questions involved.
The IHC bench accepted his plea and deferred the hearing.
The petitioner has cited the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Information, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman, Press Information Department (PID), the FIA, the IB, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Bushra Bibi, and Dr Arslan as respondents.
He contended that Bushra Bibi and Dr Arslan should be summoned by the court and asked about the audio, whereas, a forensic investigation of the audio should also be conducted.
The petitioner further said there was no law in Pakistan to regulate social media and action should be ordered against YouTubers who do not register with government agencies.
Petitioner Arshad prayed before the court that the respondent Nos 8 and 9 (Bushra and Arslan) should be called upon to explain as to whether they have aired this audio clip in violation of Article 5 as the same has damaged the international, social and cultural image as well as integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and the respondent Nos 1 to 7 may kindly be directed to proceed accordingly.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022