ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to indict Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ARY Television Salman Iqbal and anchorperson Mubashir Lucman on October 30 for airing a programme against a judge of the apex court.
The three judge special bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan heard a contempt of court case against Salman Iqbal and Mubashir Lucman.
“After going through the transcript of the two clips that contained anti-judiciary remarks and reply filed by the respondent we decide to proceed with the contempt matter against CEO ARY Salman Iqbal and Anchorperson Mubashir Luqman,” the bench observed.
The court on September 9, 2014, had issued contempt of court notices to anchorperson Mubashir Luqman and CEO of the ARY TV channel for allegedly maligning the judges of the apex court in a programme broadcast on May 29, 2014.
Irfan Qadir, Counsel for ARY TV CEO and anchor person, while submitting reply prayed the apex court to exercise restraint in contempt cases against his clients.
The counsel contended that in the absence of specific mention of such portions of material related to contempt, the notice under reply, apart from being vague and unclear, was not a notice as per the dictates of natural justice, which in itself is capable of being replied.
He further submitted that Section 17(2) is inapplicable to the case in hand especially when no specific reference had been made to any contemptuous matter therein.
“There is nothing in the entire CD, which can be termed as contemptuous since the relevant CD contains absolutely nothing contemptuous against the judiciary”, he submitted.
Qadir argued that his clients hold the judiciary in high esteem and it is unthinkable for them to utter even the slightest derogatory, scandalous or contemptuous word against either the defacto or the dejure judiciary.
He further contended that the subject matter of present contempt proceedings is part of a case pending before the Sindh High Court.
Praying to the court to withdraw the show cause notice in the interest of justice, Qadir contended that the respondent reserves the right to present their contentions in this respect at the time of arguments.
Earlier, during the hearing, the court had rejected a report prepared by the police and presented by Additional Attorney General regarding banners against a sitting judge of the apex court. The AAG requested the court to decide if the report should be kept confidential.
Justice Afzal, however, observed that any facts pertaining to the case should be presented in open court.
“We don’t believe in confidential reports”, Justice Afzal remarked and returned the report noting that investigation of the banners should be transparent.
“The case should be investigated in a proper manner and let the findings of any agency come before us”, the court observed and directed the federation to present the report in the matter in open court.