SC disposes of suo motu on non-payment of salaries to media employees


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday disposed of the suo motu taken over non-payment of salaries to employees of Geo and Jang group after assurances that the employees and the management had reached an understanding.

A three-member bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the suo motu case regarding non-payment of salaries to journalists and media workers.

Journalist Hamid Mir, head of the committee formed by the court to resolve the pay dispute at Geo, informed the court that according to the agreement reached between channel administration and employees, the salary backlog for over 90 per cent of employees who earn up to Rs200,000 has been cleared by April 30.

He added that in case of delay in salaries in future, a markup would be paid to the employees.

Meanwhile, Geo TV Network’s lawyer requested the court to order the government to pay its bills for advertisements aired on the channel, at which the CJP remarked that this was not a basic rights issue and a separate complaint should be filed if this was the case.

“How can we give an order without hearing the government?” he asked.

During the hearing, the chief justice also remarked on issues relating to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). “Before the incumbent government finishes their tenure, it is imperative to highlight the issue of PEMRA,” the CJP remarked.

Last month, the top court had summoned chief executive of Jang and Geo group Mir Shakil ur Rehman to explain nonpayment of salaries to employees.

The top judge, during the previous hearing on April 4, had ordered the media group to dispense salaries to all its employees by April 30. The bench had also asked the media house to pay the salaries even if it has to “beg or borrow”.