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SC Dismisses Justice Qazi Isa’s Plea for Live Broadcast of Proceeding

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By Our Web Desk

ISLAMABAD– The Supreme Court of Pakistan has dismissed Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s plea for live broadcast of the proceedings of his review petition against June 19, 2020 order.

The petition was dismissed by a majority of 6-4 of a 10-judge larger bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial. Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah dissented the judgment. The judgment stated:”For reasons to be recorded later, this misc application is dismissed.

However, the right of the people to have access to information in matters of public importance under Article 19-A of the Constitution is recognized, the details and modalities of which are to be decided by the full court on the administrative side.”

Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, in the dissenting note, said Article 19-A created an obligation on state institutions to take necessary measures to ensure the realisation of fundamental rights of citizens to have access to information in matters of public importance.

“Cases under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, including review petitions and other matters arising therein, are matters of public importance, and the public has a right to know and see how proceedings in these cases are conducted and concluded by the court.

“We, therefore, hold that live streaming (audio and video) of court hearings of these cases should be made available for information of the public through a link on the official website of this court,” the dissenting note read. After the short order was read out, Justice Bandial asked Justice Isa to present his arguments for the review petitions.

However, Justice Isa stated that he was not mentally prepared to give arguments. Mrs Sarina Isa said no action was taken against the minister and another government officeholder. Justice Isa also questioned why the contempt petitions were not fixed for hearing.

Justice Bandial replied that the contempt appeals would also be fixed for hearing once Justice Isa was mentally prepared for the arguments.