Media accountability petition: SC orders freeze on Information ministry’s ‘secret account’

Published: September 6, 2012
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Hamid Mir, Absar Alam inform court that funds are being used for a secret agenda by influencing the media. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Hamid Mir, Absar Alam inform court that funds are being used for a secret agenda by influencing the media. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

QUETTA: The Supreme Court Quetta registry ordered that the secret account of the information ministry should be frozen, while hearing an application moved by TV anchors Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, reported Express News on Thursday.

The account has been frozen till September 12 which is the next date of the hearing of the case.

During the hearing, the applicants told the two-judge bench that the funds of the information ministry were Rs2 billion last year which have now been increased to Rs4 billion. They added that the funds were being used for a “secret agenda” in an incorrect manner by influencing the media.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that there was no need for a secret account as the budget of the information ministry should be open. He further asked the ministry to inform the court of its budget and mandate.

The bench maintained that it was compelled to pass an interim order in the case as the ministry, even after being given so much time, has not provided the court with any information.

The petition prays to the Supreme Court to form a commission that will be responsible for inquiring about the source of income of TV channel owners, advertising agencies and anchorpersons.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • major-ji
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Since when the SC has taken the charge of Auditor General of Pakistan? Hamid Mir and Absar Alam you paved the way this time.

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  • jibran
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:52PM

    Conspiracy against the judiciary? My foot! No one can do anything against someone if he himself is clean. Blame the corruption of the Don and his father and their connections with other judges. People are talking now because the hands of the top judges are stained. And given the kind of judgments, remarks, and off the court statements they are making, it is obvious they don’t have good understanding of the law either. This provides sufficient fodder to the people to discuss their conduct.

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  • Neutral
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:55PM

    major-ji…appreciate it ji…..these secrets funds issues except related to national security shud be done-away with….it has been misused in the past & can & will be used in future too as it breeds ” corruption “…transparency / accountability shud be the hallmark of any democratic system, shud not that be…? this step shud hv been taken by the govt / politicians & parliament but they will not do so bcz the account is not in the reach of AG of Pakistan by default / design…

    Any step that judiciary takes is as per constitution & the rule of law…yet people instead of appreciating it, leaves no stone unturned to criticize it….we hv to support judiciary bcz it is the only institution left which is trying to uphold the rule of law for ALL….the judiciary may look to be very assertive, that is bcz we are not used to it for the past 60 yrs….Recommend

  • jibran
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Zia and Musharraf had their supporters in the Punjab dominant media too. They would pounce on anyone criticizing the dictators. No surprises that a corrupt judge and his son continue to find foot soldiers to guard their corruption. This reminds me of one article “We the Punjabis” that Shafqat Mehmood wrote after Musharraf took over. Here too no one is talking about the billions made by the Chaudhry family in 3 years. All they are trying to do is to silence their critics.

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  • jibran
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:04PM

    And the budget of the supreme court should be closed? So that judges continue to embezzle it?

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  • Muhammad
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:26PM

    Judicial disco dance goes unabated

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  • Pashtun voice
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:46PM

    We all know Hamid Mir and Absar Alam are the establishments tattoos

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  • AQEEL
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:18PM

    good job SC

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  • Thinker
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:19PM

    Why do I see the same plot as against Musharaf against PPP while same forces are joining hands in same manner?

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  • Dr.A.KTewari
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:17PM

    SC will do every job except justice to common people in Pakistan .

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  • anonymus
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:44PM

    Is this accountabilty of media or information ministry?
    Only PCO judge can think like this . He should have frozen accounts of all media houses and media perosnnel to see who is pouring money there! it is not only information ministry that gives momey to them. there are more players there, on whose tunes media men dance.
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  • tahir Kahn
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:54PM

    The Supreme Court should permanently ban secret funds of the information ministry. This fund is always used to bribe people. Democratic countries should not have even information ministries. In Pakistan, Information Ministry, PID, EP wings and other attached departments are useless. They have never served the country but always issue directives to the journalists. And unfortunately media outlets follow their dictates as they beg for advertisements, foreign trips and grants. These departments are the main cause of corrupt practices among some journalists. The SC should ask about the role of the Information Ministry. The Ministry and PID have always tried to find out favourits. They have never never followed merit. I would request the SC to stop the Information Ministry from bribing the journalists through secret funds and grants.

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  • sabi
    Sep 7, 2012 - 1:20AM

    Hamid mir and absar alim playing cammel and jackal game.This is infact a secret tussel between agencies and civalions to get control over media-Poor civalions!!

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