BHC’s CJ asks media not to spread gloom

QUETTA: Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC), Mr Justice Qazi Faez Isa, has said that the constitution gave right of access to information, adding that some media institutions were telecasting news without confirmation.

Speaking at a ceremony held in connection with the launching of the “Report of Media Commission, which was formed by the Supreme Court last year, on Tuesday evening, he said that the constitution did not allow anyone to telecast or print stories in violation of the constitution and journalistic code of ethics.

The report was compiled by Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Senator (retd) Javed Jabbar, members of the Commission.

The Chief Justice of BHC said: “The Constitution provides people right to access to any information which is in public interest.” He said that freedom and democracy were blessings.

The constitution and journalistic code of ethics did not allow anyone to telecast or print false and untrue news. He, however, regretted that some media institutions telecast or print certain news without verification.

He urged members of the media community to highlight positive features of everyday life instead of spreading doom and gloom.

The chief justice said that the constitution provided equal rights to all people, adding that some elements considered themselves above the constitution and law.

Senator (retd) Javed Jabbar said that it was the responsibility of media houses to adopt self-accountability. He said media was entitled to enjoy freedom, adding that it should also avoid broadcasting programmes against national sovereignty. He said that the judiciary and media were important pillars of the state, adding that both would have to perform their duties within the constitutional framework.

The Media Commission was formed after several institutions filed constitutional petitions in the Supreme Court.

MPA Yasmeen Lehri, Zeenat Yaqoob Yousafzai, Ayub Baloch, Rahat Malik, Beram Ghauri and journalists Syed Ali Shah and Saleem Shahid also spoke on the occasion.

They said there were criteria and rules for giving permission to a person to work as a lawyer or doctor, but no such rules existed for giving declaration for a newspaper or issuing a licence to a TV channel.

“Some private money lenders, uneducated rich people and even outlaws have obtained licenses to launch news channels and declarations to bring out newspapers without meeting any criteria,” they said.

Dawn

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