October 11, 2022
ISLAMABAD—The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has demanded the immediate appointment of a judge of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE).
In a joint statement, PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Arshad Ansari in a joint statement said the ITNE had been without a judge for more than two years, which resulted in the pendency of hundreds of cases filed by journalists.
"One of the major obstacles in accessing justice is the absence of judges. Appointment of judges is a central component to enhance access to justice," they said.
It is noteworthy here that ITNE is the only forum available for redressing the grievances of journalists and media workers against the newspapers' management and owners.
"This is a highly alarming situation that despite Islamabad High Court's orders, the ITNE judge is not being appointed, and the court orders are being violated," PFUJ lamented.
"Why the appointment of a judge of the (ITNE) is being delayed? Only the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting knows it. Resultantly, journalists and media workers are facing financial constraints. This negligence on the part of the authorities has become unbearable," they added.
Access to justice is a fundamental principle of the rule of law. Without access to justice, journalists and media workers cannot have their voices heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination, or hold wrongdoers accountable.
They also demanded the appointment of ITNE judges in every provincial capital, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, and Peshawar, apart from the federal capital.
"Delivery of justice should be immediate as justice delayed is justice denied. Therefore, the appointment of ITNE judges is an essential prerequisite for upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice," they concluded.
Daily Times, October 2, 2019
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