Court Bars TV Anchor From Show

Islamabad High Court stopped a TV anchor on June 11, 2014, from hosting a talk-show programme on ARY News channel after a petition seeking the ban was accepted for regular hearing.
Anchor Mubashar Lucman hosts ‘Kara Sach’ and he was leading anti-Geo campaign since the attack on journalist Hamid Mir on April 19 in Karachi.
A report on The News website said Wednesday that the Islamabad High Court was hearing a petition filed by ‘Lal Masjid Shuhada Foundation’ on Tuesday (June 10, 2014) against ARY TV anchor Mubashir Lucman, pleading the court to restrain the anchor from conducting “contemptuous programmes against the superior judiciary.
IHC’s Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the case against the anchor.
The court also asked the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure implementation of its order.
It said that Lucman had crossed all the limits and his behavior was causing hatred against the judiciary. It also said strict action be taken against any channel who allows the anchor to host a programme.
The strongly worded petition filed through seasoned advocate M Tariq Asad alleged that the said anchor has crossed all ethical limits of journalism by conducting contemptuous programmes against the judges of the Supreme Court.
Wife of Justice Jawad S. Khawaja of the Supreme Court also filed case against the channel for “defaming” his spouse who was hearing a case involving Geo News.
The petitioner said Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had failed to stop the anchor from conducting a serious of “highly objectionable” programmes despite an earlier order by the IHC.
“The comments made by the said anchor have an inherent tendency to intimidate, embarrass or obstruct the courts administration of justice and constitutes contempt of court,” read the petition.
“Mubashir Lucman on the ARY TV channel is extending the campaign against the former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and judges of the Supreme Court, particularly Mr Justice Jawad S. Khawaja in a clandestine manner.
“Therefore, the petitioner requests the court to restrain Mubashar Lucman from conducting contemptuous programs against the judiciary.”
The list of respondents in the petition included chairman PEMRA, secretary of Ministry of Information and secretary of Ministry of Interior.
The petitioner quoted an earlier order passed by IHC in an identical writ petition bearing No. 3373/2013, through which the court had ordered PEMRA to ensure that no programme containing malicious and wicked material is telecast by any of the channels in which person of the honourable chief justice of Pakistan and other honourable judges of the superior courts are criticised, ridiculed and defamed. It said the PEMRA had taken no substantial steps to implement the said order.
While hearing the case, the court barred Mubashir Lucman from conducting any show on any TV channel until the next hearing of the case. quoted Justice Siddiqui as remarking that several complaints were received against Lucman, adding that no action was taken by the PEMRA and the Ministry of Information in this regard.
Justice Siddiqui also said that Lucman kept on discrediting Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja while he was hearing a case in relation to the conduct of a television channel, reported.
The court inquired about the action taken by PEMRA over the complaints that it had received against Lucman.

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