ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar on Wednesday directed police to produce former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Faisal Raza Abidi before the apex court at the next hearing.
Hearing a contempt case against Abidi, a three-member bench of Supreme Court headed by the CJP remarked, “Faisal Raza Abidi should be brought before the court at the next hearing”.
SC had on Tuesday taken a suo moto notice of the alleged anti-judiciary comments made by the former senator Faisal Raza Abidi during a programme on Channel 5.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the CJP remarked, “The channel should be ashamed. Does this [Abidi’s programme] qualify as freedom for speech?” He further added, “Did they not see the program before broadcasting it?”
The chief executive officer (CEO) of the channel appeared in court and admitted that broadcasting the program was a mistake. “If it was a mistake, then submit your response against the contempt notice,” the top judge responded. At this, the CEO responded by saying that they have tendered an apology and terminated the anchor at hand.
“Is this the way to tender an apology? Where is Faisal Raza Abidi,” the CJP remarked. “You resort to an apology after broadcasting the program? We do not accept your apology,” said the chief justice, adjourning the hearing till May 3.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) fined Channel 5 with Rs1 million and also banned its programme, in which the allegedly contemptuous comments were made,“News @ 8” for three months.
The regulatory authority has also asked Channel 5 to run an apology during prime time transmission on April 19, 2017.
PEMRA had issued a show cause notice to Channel 5 on April 13 asking it to submit a reply and appear before it within three days-time, a statement issued said.
Following channel’s explanation, the regulatory authority imposed a three-month ban on the programme and further informed the channel administration that in case of any further violation their license may be cancelled.