Wednesday February 28, 2024

IHC orders formation of panel for legislation on journalists’ rights

March 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday ordered the formation of a five-member committee in a case seeking legislation for the rights of journalists and sought its report on March 17.

The committee would comprise Federal Minister for Law & Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Information Secretary Shahera Shahid, Law & Justice Secretary Raja Naeem Akbar and senior anchor Hamid Mir.

The court directed the committee to submit its report after consulting with all stakeholders about legislation. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case filed by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA) and others. At the outset of hearing, the additional attorney general said the draft of legislation was ready and its copy had also been shared with the petitioners.

Hamid Mir said they had also made a draft and provided it to the previous government, adding that a copy of it was also shared with the incumbent setup. He said torture of journalists took place even on the LHC premises.

The chief justice remarked that it was unfortunate, adding that he had ordered the DIG police for inquiry into the matter. The court will take an effective action, he added. Amicus curiae Faisal Saddiqui said the court couldn’t direct the government for legislation. The chief justice said the protection of rights of citizens was the responsibility of the court, adding that ITNE had no authority, too. Justice Farooq remarked that in his personal opinion, there was a need for amendment to the structure of ITNE but the parliament was authorized to view such matters.