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July 13, 2014
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Court summons TV channel owner in defamation case

July 13, 2014

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MULTAN: District and Sessions Judge Bahadur Ali Khan on Saturday summoned the owner of Express News, anchor person, correspondent and five female cricketers. The move came as a petition was filed by senior lawyer Maulvi Sultan Alam Ansari with the court seeking Rs 200 million in damages on the charges of airing a programme that contained serious allegations defaming the Multan Cricket Club (MCC).



The petitioner - chairman of MCC - said he had served as a judge of speedy trial and anti-terrorism courts, member provincial assembly and High Court Bar Association Multan president (thrice). Besides being an office holder of various organisations, he had been serving as the chairman of MCC since 1987.



According to the petitioner, the PCB used the club’s ground for Under-19 cricket team’s selection in which Samia Javed, Kiran Irshad, Hina Ghafoor, Saba Ghafoor and Haleema Rafique, who were not members of MCC, also participated. Later, they were barred from entering the club’s premises as result of which they and some other women resorted to his character assassination, including sexual harassment, with the help of Express News.



He said in a programme ‘Takrar’ of Express News, anchor person Imran Khan, reporter Shahadat Hussain and female cricketers made serious baseless allegations, adding that the talk-show was watched around the world which caused irreparable damage to his repute.



The petitioner further said the programme was aired again despite the fact that the PCB held an inquiry that proved his innocence. The recorded audio and video interviews and testimony on oath were part of the inquiry that also ordered slapped a six-month ban on Saba Ghafoor and Haleema Rafique and placed them on one year probation.



During the programme, the anchor person said Punjab Sports Minister Rana Mashhood would conduct an inquiry himself within 10 days, but it didn’t happen and all the allegations

were proved wrong. As a result, a notice demanding apology and compensation was sent to the respondent but no action had been taken.



The talk-show’s CD and transcription and copies of inquiry report, newspaper cuttings, affidavit in favour of the applicant and legal notice has also been attached with the petition. Express News Chief Executive Sultan Lakhani and the anchor, reporter and five female cricketers mentioned above are the respondents in the case.

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