JournalismPakistan.com July 29, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Monday asked chairman PEMRA and other officials to explain and furnish evidence by Friday justifying source of insertions in the Media Commission report against Geo TV that it received 20 million pounds in foreign funding for its program Zara Sochieay.
Though PEMRA denied such statement against the media house, the court refused to accept it at this stage. It made it clear they would not allow tarnishing anyone’s image without justification.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the Civil Miscellaneous Application (CMA) filed by journalists Hamid Mir and Absar Alam for allegations leveled against Geo.
The Media Commission referring to the statement of Chaudhry Rashid Ahmed, Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Dr Abdul Jabbar, Executive Director Ashfaq Jumani and DG Licensing Nasir Ahmed, GM Legal and Suhail Ahmed Secretary PEMRA, revealed that funds were pouring into media outlets from abroad and that program Zara Sochieay had received sponsorship of 20 million pounds.
The petitioners submitted that another allegation is that Aman ki Asha program was being funded by a Norwegian NGO Friends without Borders. It was further alleged that the footprints of this funding lead to Indian sponsors including Indian state television Doordarshan.
Hamid Mir and Absar Alam contended that propriety demands that evidence, if any, be presented before the Commission and the apex court.
During the hearing Zulfiqar Maluka, counsel for PEMRA said that PEMRA officials did not reveal anything against Geo.
The CJP, however, told him they could have come forward, saying it was not a correct statement. “We would not allow tarnishing the image of anyone without justification,” he said.
Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, the petitioners appearing before the bench contended that serious allegations were leveled against Jang Group/Geo without any proof and justification.
Absar told the bench that violence was being incited against Jang Group, adding that even Hamid Mir was being painted as an agent of CIA. He further submitted that a particular lobby was leveling allegations against the media group.
Dr. Tariq Hassan, counsel for Jang Group submitted before the court that a conspiracy had been hatched against his client saying that both the programs Aman Ki Asha and Zara Socieay belong to Jang Group.
Meanwhile, the court in its order ruled that the said allegations were not only provocative but at the same time involved the goodwill and credibility of the media house televising programs Zara Sochieay and Aman Ki Asha.
The hearing was adjourned until Friday.
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