ISLAMABAD: The Attorney General for Pakistan assured the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the FIA would not take action before the general election on notices sent to several journalists over allegations that they were carrying out a campaign of vilification against the judiciary.

The assurance was given to a three-member bench which took up a suo motu case against the notices sent by the Federal Investigation Agency last week to journalists.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing in the case till the first week of March after the AGP’s statement.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa headed the bench, which included Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

The court asked the AGP to submit a report on an attack on journalist Absar Alam when the hearing resumes in March.

The CJP enquired of the Attorney General whether any application was filed before the court on behalf of the journalists concerned.

The president of the Press Association of Pakistan said no application could be moved because the FIA had yet to provide the list.

The Chief Justice said the apex court could not pass an order until the matter was referred to the three-member judges committee.

He said it could only make a request to the attorney general without a written material.

In its order, the Supreme Court said the AGP had stated he had forgotten to mention the attack on Absar Alam.

The court sought an investigation report from the government regarding the incident.

The court agreed to make the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) respondent in the case.

It directed the registrar to allot a number immediately after the petition is filed.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2024

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