KARACHI: Expressing its displeasure over non-payment to media, Sindh High Court has ordered the government of Sindh to pay outstanding dues to CPNE member’s newspapers within 20 days.
This order was passed on Wednesday by a division bench comprising of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazher and Justice Agha Faisal during hearing a contempt of court application filed by Dr Jabbar Khattak on behalf of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) regarding outstanding dues.
Division bench enquired from officers of information department Sindh that had advertising agencies paid dues to newspapers after receiving payments from information department? “Has advertising agencies paid remaining 85 percent of amount to newspapers after deducting their 15 percent commission? What is the mechanism of information department in case the payment is not made by advertising agencies to newspapers after receiving the outstanding bills from this department?,” Justice Muhammad Ali Mazher inquired.
The Court expressing its displeasure over non-payment of dues to newspapers, asked why former provincial secretary information and other contemnors should not be ordered to appear before the court?
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazher ordered that newspapers of CPNE members must be paid their all outstanding for advertisements published whether direct or through advertising agencies within 20 days followed by submission of its compliance report in the court.
Dr. Jabbar Khattak, Secretary General CPNE told The Court that after order of the court, government of Sindh had made payments of around one billion rupees to advertising agencies. “But despite this court order, dues of newspapers have not cleared,” he added.
During the hearing, representatives of CPNE complained, that information department of Sindh had violated the court orders by not providing details to CPNE regarding payments made to advertising agencies.
Division bench has adjourned the case till next hearing on January 21. A large number of editors, journalists and media workers were present during court proceedings.