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Saturday July 02, 2022

IHC rejects Bol TV pleas against fines for maligning Jang Group

The IHC dismissed the appeals of Bol TV channel against fines imposed on it for levelling allegation of treachery and sacrilege against Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

June 24, 2022
The IHC building in Islamabad. Photo: The News/File
The IHC building in Islamabad. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed the appeals of Bol TV channel against fines imposed on it for levelling allegation of treachery and sacrilege against Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah pronounced a brief judgment on Wednesday. The Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra) had imposed fines of Rs500,000 and Rs300,000. Instead of paying the fines, company Messrs Labaik filed appeals, which had been pending since 2018. However, during the hearing of these appeals, Bol TV had to pay fines. During the course of hearings, Chief Justice Athar Minallah made various remarks and observations. He said sacrilege allegations endangered lives. He referred to the Sialkot incident, and observed that such an allegation was like a death warrant in this society. It is easy to pass a decree of sacrilege and treachery, he remarked. He asked the appellant that if their channel was meant to endanger someone’s life? It shows how low our society has stooped. He told them they pass decrees of sacrilege and treachery, and asked could any Pakistani be a traitor? Does any broadcasting entity have authority to brand any Pakistan as traitor?

He said no one could call any citizen a traitor unless the state proves so with solid evidence. While Bol TV defended its position, the Pemra counsel maintained that the authority fined the channel as it had flouted various provisions of the code of conduct. The court eventually dismissed the appeals.

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