Tuesday August 09, 2022

SHC restrains Rao Anwar from making defamatory statements against AD Khawaja

August 06, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday restrained former SSP Rao Anwar from broadcasting or publishing his interview, in which he levelled allegations against former Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) Allah Dino Khawaja or making any other defamatory and scandalous content against him.

The restraining order came on a lawsuit filed by the former IGP against Anwar with regard to his interview in Geo TV’s program Jirga over Naqeebullah Mehsud extrajudicial killing case. The plaintiff, who is now serving at the National Police Academy, had challenged the allegations levelled by the former SSP, an accused in the extrajudicial killing case of Naqeebullah Mehsud, in the TV interview aired on June 18.

Khawaja submitted that Anwar’s allegations with regard to the constitution of an inquiry committee in Naqeebullah case, summoning of the victim’s father to Karachi for the registration of a case and issuing direction to him for killing criminals were baseless and defamatory.

The former IGP submitted that the impugned defamatory interview had been given by the defendant in order to satisfy his personal grudge against him as he had suspended Anwar twice over misconduct and ordered registration of a case against him.

He submitted that the defendant was known as a notorious police officer who thrived on political patronage and extraneous influences. The plaintiff’s counsel, Amna Usman, submitted that it was obvious that Anwar gave a mala fide interview to defame the reputation of the plaintiff without any verification, proof or evidence.

She submitted that the programme host had clarified that views expressed by the former SSP in the interview were false and baseless, due to which the plaintiff had not initiated legal proceedings against the television channel.

The counsel submitted that through the impugned defamatory interview, Anwar intended to ridicule the plaintiff and make unjust criticism of not only the plaintiff but also a former chief justice of Pakistan.

The counsel requested the high court to restrain the defendant from repeating or broadcasting the defamatory statement against the plaintiff, and award a decree in sum of Rs500 million as damages.

A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, after the preliminary hearing of the lawsuit, issued a notice to the former SSP and in the meantime restrained him from repeating the defamatory interview or making any other defamatory content against the plaintiff on social, digital and print media till the next hearing.