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HomePakistanPakistan imposes ban on media coverage of contemptuous content against judiciary

Pakistan imposes ban on media coverage of contemptuous content against judiciary

ISLAMABAD – The federal government prohibited TV channels and newspapers from broadcasting or publishing contemptuous content against the judiciary, in compliance with a Supreme Court order.

A notification from the Press Information Department (PID) referenced the Supreme Court’s May 17 order, which issued show-cause notices to independent Senator Faisal Vawda and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Mustafa Kamal for contempt of court due to their critical press conferences against the judiciary.

The PID notification quoted the Supreme Court’s order: “Television channels and all those who broadcast, re-broadcast, and/or publish material constituting contempt of court may also be committing contempt of court; therefore, they should desist from doing so, failing which they may also be proceeded against for contempt of court.”

A three-member Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afgan, issued a written order on May 18 in a suo motu case concerning the press conferences by Vawda and Kamal.

The order restrained media from airing or publishing material deemed contemptuous of the court, warning of legal consequences for non-compliance.

The bench issued show-cause notices to Vawda and Kamal, finding that their statements appeared to be prima facie contempt of court. Both politicians were given two weeks to submit their explanations and were directed to appear before the court on June 5.

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