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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court cautioned that television channels and all those who broadcast, re-broadcast, and/ or publish material constituting contempt of Court may also be committing contempt of Court; therefore, they should desist from doing so, failing which they may also be proceeded against contempt of Court.

The Supreme Court on Saturday issued a written order of its proceeding, dated May 17, on suo moto taken against the press conferences by Senator Faisal Vawda and MNA Mustafa Kamal.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising Justice Irfan Saadat and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan on Friday issued show cause notices to Senator Faisal Vawda and MQM-P MNA Mustafa Kamal for maligning the judiciary and the judges.

SC issues notices to Faisal Vawda, Mustafa Kamal

The bench also issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan under Rule 7(2) Order XXVII of Supreme Court Rules, 1980, saying he will conduct the proceeding. It directed the SC office to send the copies of the order to AGP Mansoor Usman Awan.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was ordered to submit the recording of the press conferences and the transcript which include the questions and answers.

The Court noted that in the press conferences both parliamentarians apparently levelled serious and malicious allegations against the judiciary and passed comments against the judge. It noted that the press conferences were live-streamed on social media and those were also published in the newspapers.

The bench observed that following the speech of Vawda, MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal also held the press conference at the National Press Club, Islamabad.

The court’s order said that Article 19 of the constitution grants every citizen the right of speech, but it also places restrictions with regard to the contempt of court. It further said that Article 204 of the constitution defines the contempt of court. The matter is also attended by Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, it added.

The Court said that the press conferences by Faisal Vawda and Mustafa Kamal appear to be contempt of the judiciary. “We are constrained to issue show cause notices to Faisal Vawda and Mustafa Kamal and direct them to submit their explanation/ reply and personally appear before the court on the next date of hearing.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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