The ARY news channel lost its appeal on Thursday which was made against the decision by a British court to broadcast a summary of a legal judgement against it. ARY’s initial appeal was also turned down.
At a legal hearing in London earlier this week, Judge Sir David Eady ruled that the summary should be broadcast on Dec 23 (Friday) at 6pm, 10pm and 3am in the first five minutes of each hour. The words will have to be displayed on the screen as well as being read out.
The ARY will have to say in Urdu: “On Dec 2, 2016, the High Court of Justice ordered the UK broadcaster of ARY News… to pay £185,000 in libel damages to the of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakilur Rehman, in relation to seriously defamatory allegations broadcasted in 24 programmes which the judge said simply had no foundation.
The court held that the broadcasts were unrelenting and calculated to arouse hatred towards Mir Shakilur Rehman (and indeed quite possibly violence) among members of the Pakistani community in this jurisdiction.”
The channel must also broadcast that there was no evidence to support the claims and that during the trial, ARY Network made it clear they did not suggest that any of the allegations were true.
Lawyers for Mir Shakilur Rehman identified ARY programmes in which he had been libelled between 2013 and 2014. The broadcasts included repeated claims that he was a traitor to Pakistan who had conspired with Indian intelligence agencies and the CIA to publish fabricated stories maligning Pakistan’s armed forces.
The channel said Mir Shakilur Rehman should have no right to live in Pakistan and that his company should be stripped of its broadcasting licence. ARY even accused him of blasphemy and of desecrating the Holy Quran.
The ARY has also been told it must not repeat any of the allegations. It has been restrained from broadcasting anything saying Mir Shakilur Rehman is a traitor, or is disloyal to Pakistan, or has behaved treacherously, or has committed treason or that he is guilty of blasphemy, or desecration of the Holy Quran.