IHC drops contempt notice against news anchor Mattiullah Jan

  • Court says selling the pen of journalist means selling honour of nation

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday dropped contempt proceedings against anchorperson Mattiullah Jan, owner of Waqt TV channel Rameeza Majeed Nizami, its bureau chief and producers of the programme ‘Apna Apna Gareban’ after submission of an unconditional apology.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the contempt of court proceedings against the respondents on airing contemptuous programme against the judiciary.

According to the unconditional and corrected apology, the respondents stated that they would be within limits prescribed by the organic law of the country, constitution and other laws of the land in future.  Subsequently, after tendering the apology, the bench discharged the notice.

It is pertinent to mention here that on previous hearings, Justice Siddiqui had observed that in the programme, Matiullah Jan prima facia took the name of a judge of the IHC and repeated it again with mala fide intention, and in order to mislead the viewers.

The court also observed that the anchorperson seemed to be habitual of conducting programme without observing the code of conduct or norms of decency and morality, and was unaware of the constitution of the country, which falls under the definition of blackmailing the institution as well.

The court remarked that those who look at others’ weaknesses in talk shows should look at their own weaknesses too. As to why a commission should not be constituted to scrutinise the assets of anchorpersons and media owners, the court said that the nation should know the name of anchorpersons with the details of loans obtained by him, and how much loan he had got written off.

Those who did not have money to purchase petrol for their motorcycles are owners of land cruisers today, the court said, adding that selling the pen of journalist means selling the honour of the nation.

Earlier, after receiving notice by the court, the respondents submitted an apology but the court rejected it as the language of the apology was objectionable and directed them to re-submit the corrected one.