Harassment of journalists: Supreme Court to take up case next week

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan will take up next week the case regarding harassment of journalists. Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umer Ata Bandial has constituted a three-member larger bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsen and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed. According to the cause list issued for the week commencing on Monday, the three-member bench will hear the matter on August 30 at 12:30pm. The Supreme Court the other day had reversed a suo motu notice taken by Justice Qazi Faez Isa on an application regarding harassment of journalists and held that the chief justice of Pakistan is the sole authority for invoking the original jurisdiction enshrined in the Constitution under Article 184(3).

A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Acting Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial had announced in a short order pertaining to the invocation of the suo motu jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. Other members of the bench included Justice Ijazul Ahsen, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar. On August 23, the court had ‘held in abeyance’ the order passed by a two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel on August 20 on an application placed before the bench regarding harassment of journalists.

The court held that the chief justice may invoke/assume the said jurisdiction in his discretion and shall do so whenever a bench recommends. “No bench may take any step or make any order (whether in any pending proceedings or otherwise) as would or could constitute exercise of the suo motu jurisdiction. The court had recalled the order dated 20.08.2021 passed by a two-member bench comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel.

The court, however, had held that substantive claims made by the Press Association of Supreme Court and others in the application presented in the court on 20.08.2021 shall be placed before the chief justice of Pakistan for consideration.

Source: The News

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