Is Ansar Abbasi an investigative journalist? Or a police tout?
Contempt of court based on an unsubstantiated statement attributed to Hazrat Nanno Goraya?
Taseer asks CM to act against police official for maligning judge
Daily Times Monitor / The News
LAHORE: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has said it is inappropriate for a police officer to target a member of the higher judiciary and asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the police official’s action, a private TV channel reported on Sunday.
In a letter to the Punjab chief minister, Taseer said the role of the official in maligning an institution like the judiciary could not be ignored, the channel said.
He said it would become a challenge for the entire society if police officials were given such authority, it added.
Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has written a letter to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, asking him to sideline Gujranwala Regional Police Officer (RPO) Zulfikar Cheema for “scandalising the judiciary.”
The governor based his arguments on three points, among others, seeking Cheema’s removal, an official, who has seen the letter, told The News.
One point, noted in the letter, was that the RPO should have approached the Punjab government or the chief minister through proper channel, bringing to their notice anything found by him in the recorded statement of dreaded felon Nannu Goraya against any judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC). Why did the RPO directly write to the LHC chief justice about the statement? it asked.
The letter further said it would have been left to the provincial government to handle the issue raised in Goraya’s reported statement to the police before he died in an encounter.
According to the letter, the second point raised in the letter was that Cheema should not have been posted in Gujranwala since he also hailed from this area. It said the RPO was bound to be partisan because his brother Justice (retd) Iftikhar Ahmed Cheema was MNA of the PML-N, elected from Gujranwala. Therefore, the police officer should be made an OSD (officer on special duty), it urged.
The third point was that the RPO disclosed to journalists the sending of Goraya’s statement to the LHC chief justice for action.
|PFUJ lashes out at LHC judge’s gag order
|Sunday, February 15, 2009
By By Usman Manzoor
|ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed its deep concern over the gag order passed by a Lahore High Court judge, imposing ban on reporting against judges and courts.
A statement, issued by the journalists’ body, says: “The PFUJ expresses its concern over the ‘blanket ban’ on reporting with respect to contempt proceeding against The News correspondent Ansar Abbasi.
“The right of the press to inform the public at large with respect to any matter is a right expressly protected by the Constitution of Pakistan and is integral to the universally accepted right of free speech available to all.” The statement said though the union had the greatest regard for the “independence of the judiciary”, and that it also advocated responsible journalism, the news item in question needed to be investigated before any contempt proceedings.
Expressing concern over the growing tendency of imposing ban on reporting and holding in-camera proceedings — whether by the court or by parliament — the union termed it an attempt to gag the media and deprive the people of their right to know. “We are concerned about the rising trend of ban on reporting by different institutions,” it said.
The statement said the PFUJ was not against legal process against newspapers, TV channels or journalists, “but imposing ban on reporting is an attack on the freedom of the press”.
“The legal course is always welcome but to gag the media is a matter of concern for us,” it said, adding: “The contempt law needs drastic changes and should not be used to gag the press.”
“Modern trends regarding the law of contempt should be kept in view to protect the freedom of the speech, expression and the press,” it said, adding referring to changes in the contempt law around the world. The union demanded the repeal of the law and review of several sections of the anti-media laws, including law of contempt, the Security of Pakistan Act, the anti-terrorism law and the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
The PFUJ also appealed to journalists to be more responsible while reporting on legal matters and about judges and their judgments. (The News)