TV Station Wages Organized Campaign to Undermine Justice System, Says IHC CJ

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IHC CJ Athar Minallah. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah says ARY Channel has waged a systematic campaign based on a fictional narrative to undermine the judiciary and damage the credibility of the judiciary in the eyes of the public , with serious and disastrous repercussions.

The court questioned counsel for the applicant and the ARY News channel about the systematic campaign of smearing justice in the context of the events of April 9, 2022. “It has been reported that attempts have been made, in particular by the television channel , ARY News, to discredit the august Supreme Court and this Court and thereby erode the people’s confidence in the justice system,” the Chief Justice wrote in his order issued Thursday.

He also questioned whether an order had been made or a hearing given at a competition or other activity at the international or national level organized by a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Business pursuit is also handled entirely by the ITA. As the cases are ongoing, there will be no further comment during the ongoing proceedings,” the IWF said.

The PWLF can also face a four-year ban and a hefty fine. According to IWF rules, if three or more lifters fail doping tests in a year, the federation can be banned.

“Yes, Talha and Abubakar tested positive for the use of banned drugs. The ITA and PWF also called an online meeting with us on May 1 to determine why the other four weightlifters refused to submit samples during of an ITA-led out-of-competition test attempt in Pakistan,” a PWF official said.

“Our view is simple: those who arrived in Pakistan for the tests refused to provide their identity. At that time (early November) there were two parallel anti-doping organizations working in Pakistan and the government owned one told us through a letter that they were solely responsible for sample collection and the other wasn’t already working. We have an official letter written by the government stating that only NADO is authorized to test athletes. Fearing a backlash from the government (Pakistan Sports Board), our players requested an ID which the driving agency refused. Therefore, the lifters in question refused to allow the samples to be collected believing that it was not the genuine body,” a PWF official said.

He added that they were in possession of all relevant correspondence with them from the government which strongly supported their claim. “We will put all the relevant material during the May Day virtual meeting with the international body,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ITA has confirmed that it has claimed anti-doping rule violations (ADRVS) against two Pakistani weightlifters for the presence of “prohibited substance” and against four other weightlifters for refusing or failing to submit samples.

The ITA reports that it has claimed apparent ADRVs against Talha and Abubakar under IWF Anti-Doping Rule 2.1 (presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers).

A sample taken from Talha, out of competition on November 29, 2021, and another sample taken on December 10, 2021, during the 2021 IWF World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2021 World Championships) returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF ) for the banned steroid 19-norandrosterone.

A sample taken in Abubakar on December 9 during the 2021 World Championships returned an AAF for the banned hormone and the metabolic modulator metabolite of tamoxifen.

A joint investigation by the ITA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), launched on the basis of intelligence from the ITA, also resulted in the ITA asserting apparent ADRVs against Muhammad Sharjeel Butt, Ghulam Mustafa, Abdur Rehman and Farhan Amjad under Article 2.3 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules (to evade, refuse or fail to submit to Sample collection) for refusing to submit to Sample collection .

The six lifters will now be banned from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, while the cloud of an international ban also hangs over the PWF in case they fail to convince the international body that the four lifters in question were not aware of the presence of the ITA and were completely unaware that the official who showed up for the sample collection was not a fake nor that of the parallel organization. on the evening of April 9, 2022 which could have harmed someone or interfered with the work of other constitutional bodies.

The Chief Justice delivered the private broadcaster’s damning indictment as he heard a motion by presenter Arshad Sharif against the Federation of Pakistan, in which he alleged he received threatening messages.

Appearing on behalf of the FIA, director Humayun Bashir Tarar told the court that no proceedings had been brought against the claimant or any other journalist associated with the television channel managed and operated by M/s ARY Media Communication.

Chief Justice Minallah, in his written order, said journalists had filed similar complaints in the past and ordered the FIA ​​to submit a report explaining why its officials’ perceived threat against journalists had not been dissipated.

Commenting on the channel that was waging the campaign against the judiciary, the Chief Justice noted that “it also appeared they were unaware that in the past this Court has considered several motions after official hours. . The motion in hand was also heard and the order was issued after the notified court deadlines and despite the fact that the prescribed formalities had not been complied with. The learned lawyer also appeared to ignore the dismissal of the motions received on April 9, 2022, with exemplary costs.

Responding to another question, the applicants’ lawyer also admitted that the channel’s policy was not to grant airtime to issues such as serious violations of the fundamental rights of victims of enforced disappearances or students from Balochistan.

In his order, CJ Minallah wrote: “The systematic campaign against the august Supreme Court as well as this Court, in particular by the ARY News channel, appears to be based on an imaginary narrative and in defiance of the notified policy of the Court of receive requests. after the hearing deadlines, provided it is extremely urgent. The systematic smear campaign against the Supreme Court and this Court without any basis or prejudice being caused to anyone has profound consequences for the litigants who are admittedly denied the floor by the television stations in violation their obligations under Articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973”.

The court summoned the ARY News bureau chief for May 12 to justify the systematic campaign against the Supreme Court and the IHC.

“The court has always encouraged fair criticism and comment, but the advancement of unfounded political narratives and the systematic smear campaign against the judiciary have serious consequences for litigants,” the court observed.

The FIA ​​and the Inspector General of Islamabad Capital Territory Police were also ordered by the court not to harass or take any adverse action against the petitioner or other journalists in connection with their professional duties and functions.

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