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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court’s decision to publish a list of journalists who were allegedly paid by the Information Ministry from its secret funds has drawn flak from a lawyer representing some media persons who have denied receiving any such benefits.
During Thursday’s hearing of the media commission case, former SCBA president and human rights activist Asma Jahangir criticised the apex court’s decision to publish the list on its website.
“The Supreme Court’s website is not a gossip column. There is a limit to such things,” a visibly angry Jahangir told the bench headed by Justice Jawwad Khawaja.
As the hearing of the case began today, several journalists filed applications saying their names had been falsely included in the said list.
Responding to Jahangir’s criticism, Justice Khawaja said the list was corroborated and signed by the secretary and director general of the concerned ministry.
Jahangir however said the Supreme Court did not publish the names of hardened criminals on its website. “Instead you have put oranges and apples in one box,” she asserted.
Furthermore, Justice Khawaja said the list was published in order to inform the world about the truth; hence, the apex court directed the audit of the list. He also said that the judiciary was not a holy cow.
Moreover, Jahangir said the court should get out of the state of self-righteousness and stop engaging in ‘loose talk’. Attorney General Irfan Qadir objected to her remarks.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing to May 2.