ISLAMABAD: The petition seeking action against ARY News anchor Mubasher Lucman over his alleged contemptuous campaign against judiciary may ensnare a number of television show hosts as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has hinted at setting up of a commission to investigate the “illegal and unfair gains” made by them.

Towards the end of a preliminary hearing on Friday on the petition filed by the District Bar Association of Islamabad, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui observed: “This situation may constrain the legal fraternity to ask this court and the federal government to constitute a commission to probe the assets of the anchorpersons and their families... foreign tours and the hotels in which they live, shopping made ... and also to ask about the tax they pay and to know how they live beyond their means.”

The proposed commission might also investigate connections of land mafia with certain news channels and anchorpersons “who are on the payroll of land grabbers and receive plots for looking after their interests”, said Justice Siddiqui.

The court also issued contempt of court notices to Mr Lucman, chief executive officer of ARY News Salman Iqbal, information and broadcasting secretary Nazir Saeed and acting chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, and directed them to appear before the court on the next date of hearing, in the first week of July.

Representing the bar association, Syed Nayyab Hassan Gardezi contended that certain elements had begun targeting the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in particular Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, without any lawful justification.

He lamented that neither had any case been registered against persons involved in inciting hatred against institutions nor had any restrictions been imposed on them to check “their unlawful acts”.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2014

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