News Analysis |
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has warned media houses of strict action if they fail to give salaries to their employees. “Sell your Bentley cars and clear all dues,” the top judge told media owners while hearing a request filed by Press Association of Supreme Court President Tayyab Baloch.
Pervez Shaukat, who was representing media employees along with Baloch, told the court that the media workers did not have money to pay their children’s school fee because they had not received their salaries. He also claimed that the media houses had received billions of rupees “to speak against the judiciary”.
The judiciary has now to ensure that the salaries are paid in time to the employees so that they can run their families.
The apex court ordered Capital TV to pay their employees by December 5 while Daily Times, Nawai Waqt, The Nation, Bol News, 7 News, Star Asia and Khabrain were given time until December 15. Moreover, the ARY Group was ordered to pay two employees whose salaries had been withheld.
The chief justice also reportedly ordered Capital TV to submit the copies of the cheques and an affidavit after paying the withheld salaries. When the CJP asked if claims of not receiving salaries were false, the representative of Capital TV said that the workers had “exaggerated the situation”.
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Moreover, On April 16, the SC summoned the editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang Group, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, to appear in court on Tuesday and explain why employees of his media group have not been paid for the past three months.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar issued the directions while hearing a case about the media commission, which was formed by the SC in 2013 to review major points of concern in mass media against the terms of references (ToRs) formulated by the court.
“Sell your Bentley cars and clear all dues,” the top judge told media owners while hearing a request filed by Press Association of Supreme Court President Tayyab Baloch.
While addressing Geo TV’s anchorperson Hamid Mir, who was a petitioner in the media commission case, the CJP remarked that some reporters had approached him with the complaint that their salaries are a paltry Rs12,000 and even that isn’t paid for as long as three months at times. The top judge asked Mir if someone could formulate their budget in Rs 12, 000 and suggested that the journalist also raise his voice for such reporters.
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Later on, Mir urged the Geo TV owner to give salaries to the employees. An agreement was reportedly signed between the Geo news owner and Mir. It is reported that owing to the former’s failure to ensure the implementation of the agreement later had to leave the media group quite for a while. There is no denying of the fact that media employees are facing many challenges these days.
Owners are reluctant to give them salaries since the government has decided not to give ads to the TV channels and newspapers which have adversely affected the economy of the media industry in Pakistan. It is also important to mention here that many media houses have lessened their staff in order to manage their economic affairs. The judiciary has now to ensure that the salaries are paid in time to the employees so that they can run their families.