ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court banned on Tuesday, senior anchorperson Shahid Masood’s TV programme for three months.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing in case pertaining to allegations made by Masood regarding the rapist and murderer of a seven-year-old girl in Kasur.
The bench also directed Masood to submit a written unconditional apology.
During court proceedings, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Nisar recalled Masood’s statement that he was ready to be ‘hanged’ if his allegations were proven wrong and said: “We will not give you capital punishment like you asked but we will ask you what should be the punishment for you.”
When Masood replied that he was ready to be taken off-air for two months, Justice Nisar suggested six months. After back-and-forth arguments, the bench decided to suspend his news show for three months.
“I don’t know what you think of the courts in Pakistan,” said the CJP while addressing Masood. “Let it be clear that either the courts have evolved or may be I have changed.”
“This is the majesty of constitution and law,” remarked Justice Nisar.
Separately, the senior anchorperson also tendered unconditional apology over unethical remarks made in his programme against Additional Advocate General Punjab Ayesha Hamid.
Following the hearing, Masood submitted a written unconditional apology to the apex court. An exclusive copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
In the apology, he stated that: “I hereby express remorse and repentence over whatever I stated in the said programme and tender unconditional, unqualified and sincere apology from this court.”
“I place myself before the mercy and Majesty of this Honourable Court and seek clemency. That I hold this Honourable Court at a very high esteem and expect very sympathetic treatment,” it added. “I also hereby state that I will accept any treatment of law extended by this Honourable Court into the matter and will abide by the same in its letter and spirit.”
In an earlier hearing, the top court had rejected the senior anchorperson’s reply in Zainab’s rape and murder case. “The reply is unacceptable,” Justice Nisar had said. “Time for pardon has passed.”
The chief justice had observed that Masood had made incorrect statements before the court. “This is also contempt of court,” noted CJP. “There will be punishment as per law.”
During court proceedings, Masood had expressed his regret for the statements he made in the programme as Additional Advocate General Punjab pointed out that TV shows are watched by millions.