- PTI MNA-elect is charged with making abusive comments on TV
- Justice Nisar ponders suspending notification of Liaquat’s recent electoral victory
- CJP says ‘those who can’t control their speech should not be allowed in Parliament’
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a contempt of court notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA -elect Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, issued the notice while hearing a private TV channel’s petition against Liaquat, who had missed the same case’s hearing on Thursday.
As the case proceedings began with Liaquat in attendance, Jang group’s counsel Faisal Iqbal told the court that the TV anchor, in one of his TV programmes, had “accused Geo TV anchor Shahzeb Khanzada of supporting blasphemy convicts”.
“He also levelled grave allegations against Najam Sethi,” the counsel added. “No one has the right to call anyone infidel or traitor.”
At the chief justice’s orders, a clip of Liaquat’s said show was played in the courtroom. In the clip, Liaquat was observed hurling insults at the owner of a private TV channel.
“Do [you] teach the general public this through TV?” Justice Nisar remarked, addressing the TV personality. The chief justice pondered suspending the notification of Liaquat’s recent electoral victory.
The CJP remarked, “How can we let such people sit in the Parliament who lack manners to speak to others.”
“Those that can’t control their speech should not be allowed in the Parliament,” Justice Nisar added.
After watching the content of the video clip, when the Supreme Court asked Liaquat to explain himself, the anchor claimed that he had used the insulting words for “Narendra Modi and Ajeet Duval”.
The chief justice cut short Liaquat’s explanation and said: “You are again lying in the court. This drama won’t fly here.”
The CJP further said that the PTI leader was issued a show cause notice because he “lied on public television”. The top judge reprimanded Liaquat for “taking undue advantage of the media’s reach and spreading false propaganda”.
The PTI leader and his counsel claimed that Liaquat’s show was aired in response to an Indian TV channel’s show. The defence counsel sought more time to respond and submit the transcript of the programme in court.
The CJP ordered Liaquat to submit a reply to the show cause notice within 14 days.
On Wednesday, the top court had fined the TV personality Rs20,000 for not appearing in court in a contempt case and directed that the fine will go towards the Diamer-Bhasha dam fund.
Faisal Qureshi, the lawyer for the petitioners, had argued that Aamir Liaquat had levelled false allegations against politicians and media personalities on his show on Bol TV.
The CJP had said that Aamir Liaquat had previously assured the court that he would not make any defamatory remarks on his TV programmes. He added that the court will investigate transcripts of his shows to verify if he had defied the court by making any abusive statements.
The petitions for defamatory material were filed against Liaquat by Independent Media group, Mir Shakilur Rehman, Najam Sethi and Shahzeb Khanzada.
Earlier, in general elections, Aamir Liaquat won a seat from the constituency NA-245 (Karachi) on a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket.
AAMIR LIAQUAT FACES TROUBLE ON TWITTER:
On August 1, Aamir Liaqat was the focus of controversy on Twitter when he posted a photo of Senator Sherry Rehman, MMA spokesperson Owais Noorani and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani with a provocative caption.
Upon negative reaction from Twitter users, Liaquat was forced to take down his tweet and make a public apology.
He tweeted, “Twitter didn’t delete my tweet, I deleted it myself cause I later realized it might look bad for you. I have respect for you because of the issues you raised in NA when I was there too. It is a misunderstanding, I was targeting MMA Owais Norani, not you. I apologise @sherryrehman.”
PEMRA BANS LIAQUAT FOR ONE MONTH:
In May, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the PTI leader for 30 days for making hate speeches on TV. He was banned from making any television appearances during Ramzan.
According to reports, the television host was guilty of using Ramzan transmissions as an excuse for making sensational and controversial statements to invite drama.