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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday summoned the chief editor and publisher of The News and Urdu daily Jang, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, to appear in court on Tuesday and explain the lead headline, “Wish Shahbaz is next PM”, run by the two newspapers in their Feb 12 editions.

The story concerns the proceedings that were held in Lahore on Sunday when Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif appeared in the court.

The issue cropped up when during the hearing of a different case, the chief justice inquired from a reporter of Geo television why a wrong news story was carried when the Supreme Court office had already issued a clarification.

“Such a huge Jang Group has become a mediocre group,” the chief justice regretted recalling that during the tea break he saw The News and daily Jang on table which had carried the same stories.

IHC judge summons Nawa-i-Waqt CEO in contempt of court case, warns of issuing arrest warrants if court’s direction is defied

Why the story was carried when the court office had issued the clarification, the court asked and further inquired who headed the group.

When told that it was Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the court ordered the reporter to convey him to appear before the court on Tuesday.

IHC summons Nawa-i-Waqt CEO

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed the chief executive officer of Nawa-i-Waqt Group, Rameeza Majid Nizami, to appear in person in a contempt of court case and warned of issuing arrest warrants if she defied the court’s direction.

Justice Siddiqui issued the direction while hearing the contempt of court case about a programme aired on the group’s Waqt News TV channel.

As per details of the case, Matiullah Jan hosted a programme ‘Apna Apna Gareban’ on Feb 5 on the issue of lawyers’ encroachment on a football ground in Sector F-8 of Islamabad.

As per the order issued by the IHC, the anchorperson was unaware of the conditions of the constitutional provision related to the freedom of expression.

Advocate Safeer Hussain Shah, representing the media conglomerate, requested the court to exempt personal appearance of Ms Nizami as due to her ailment she was unable to travel from Lahore to Islamabad.

“Since proceedings initiated by this court are criminal in nature, therefore, her personal attendance was directed, as this court intends to play the programme in the presence of respondent No. 2 (Ms Nizami) in open court and then to proceed further in the matter,” the court order issued on the day said.

“Let this matter be adjourned to Feb 16 with direction for personal appearance of Ms Rameeza Majid Nizami, otherwise process in accordance with law, i.e. warrants of arrest shall be issued,” the order added.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2018