Attack on freedom of press is attack on SC: SC

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ISLAMABAD, August 26 (Online): Supreme Court (SC) has remarked SC is with the journalists community and attack on press freedom is attack on SC.
The SC has reserved the judgment in matter pertaining to suo motu jurisdiction of apex court after hearing the arguments of the parties concerned.

The case came up for hearing before a 5-member bench of SC presided over by Justice Umar Ata Bandial here Thursday.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked bench can take notice. Question is this can the petition be received in the court. Can any court’s judge write in the order which specific bench will hear this case. In justice system Chief Justice is head of administration as well. We respect the judicial powers. Judicial powers have their own separate importance. The things change with the passage of time. Today we hear the lawyers of Karachi and Lahore through video link here. Several matters have changed with the arrival of technology. The procedure for filing petition under clause 184(3) has also changed. There are certain examples under 184(3) wherein petition has not been even filed. The attorney general has said that the petitioner has not adopted correct way.

Justice Qazi Amin remarked we are with journalists community. Attack on freedom of press is attack on SC.

He remarked there is only one procedure for filing petition is SC. The petition goes to registrar office after it is filed wherein number is allotted to it. Then the proceedings move ahead. Controversial traditions of the past are there. Has the petitioner powers that which judge has to hear his case.

Justice Munib Akhtar remarked had the petition been filed by the journalists under set procedure then the matter would have been different.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked “we are guarantors of fundamental rights. We will stand with them if any harm is caused to the journalists. There are three basic questions here what is the parameters of use of powers laid down in clause 3 of article 184. How can the clause 3 of article 184 be used. Who can use clause 3 of article 184. Judicial proceedings takes place later. The judge can take notice on any application. The question is this what has to be done after it. The traditions are there that notice was taken on a written letter or media news. Whenever any judge took notice then the Chief Justice constituted the bench.

Justice Qazi Amin while addressing lawyer Jahangir Jadoon remarked you are such a soldier who has come here without preparation and weapon. You should see the application. It contains the signature of petitioner Imran Shafqat which pertain to August 14. The other signature are of August 20. It means the petition was prepared on August 14 and there was ample time to file the petition. The chief justice of Pakistan was present too at that time.

The counsel for Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) took the plea the suo motu notice can be exercised for public interest on violation of fundamental rights. The word SC has been used in the constitution for exercising suo motu notice. SC means chief justice of Pakistan and other judges. The court took suo motu notice for the protection of fundamental rights of the journalists.

He said it is regretted that punishment is awarded in Pakistan for speaking the truth. There is no bar on taking suo motu notice on petition. We have full trust on all the judges of SC. Whenever we filed petition individually we met all legal formalities. We should be heard.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial while addressing President SCBA on one occasion remarked I am here. The case has to be heard by Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial while addressing Latif Afridi remarked August 20 order was our order too. SC has powers to take suo motu notice under public interest.

President SCBA Latif Afridi said “ I want consensus and unity remain among the judges. This is good for the institution. If there is any division then no such impression should be given. Different tactics are being used to remove and pressurize Justice Qazi Faez Isa. There is no such precedent that one bench of SC made the decision of other bench ineffective. Every bench of SC is SC.

The court reserved the judgment after hearing the arguments from parties concerned.

Ends/Online