Justice Qazi Faez Isa said on Monday that he was being slandered and that propaganda targeting him was being broadcast through “controlled” media. The judge made these remarks in the Supreme Court during a hearing on an application moved by him, seeking live telecast of court proceedings of the review petition in his case.
PTI Government has destroyed independent media in Pakistan, narratives built through propaganda and controlled media, vulgar propaganda and campaigns being run against me: Justice Qazi Faez Isa
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) March 8, 2021
In his petition, Justice Isa said the move to broadcast the proceedings live would bring more transparency and discipline in the court’s conduct. A 10-judge SC bench, presided by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, is hearing the petition.
“I am being publicly maligned. Propaganda is being spread against me through controlled media,” said Justice Isa. He claimed that the government had “destroyed” the media and would now set its sights on social media platforms such as YouTube.
In his application filed in February, Justice Isa had sought a directive that the state-run Pakistan Television Corporation be directed to broadcast live proceedings of the hearings of his review petitions in the case against him.
In the application, he pleaded the apex court to order the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to issue written instructions to all private channels that they could not be restrained from broadcasting or live streaming the court proceedings.
Justice Isa said the prayer had been made in the best interest of justice and that court proceedings were broadcast in a number of countries.
During a hearing last week, Justice Bandial had asked the AAG to inform the court what steps the government would take for a live broadcast of the present hearing.
The AAG informed the court on Thursday that the federal government would obviously oppose the plea for live telecast, but could have responded had notices been issued to it.
Faez Isa J. not to hear cases involving PM Imran Khan
Recently, an order issued by the apex court has suggested Faez Isa J. not to hear the cases concerning the premier: “The Hon. Chief Justice of Pakistan, therefore, observed that in these circumstances it would not be proper for the Hon. Judge to hear the matter considering that he had already filed a petition against the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his personal capacity. Therefore, to uphold the principle of un-biasness and impartiality, it would be in the interest of justice that the Hon. Judge should not hear matters involving the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” the order states.
A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Maqbool Baqir heard a case pertaining to local bodies elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Justice Faez Isa said that a referendum could be held with the journalists present in the courtroom to determine the state of freedom of media in Pakistan.
The judge asked the journalists who think that media is free in Pakistan should raise their hands. No reporter in the court raised a hand on this. Justice Faez Isa then asked that those who think the media is not free to raise their hands to which all the journalists present in the courtroom raised their hands.