Broadcasting PTI Founder Live is Legal: Justice Minallah

News Desk1 hour ago

Justice Minallah dissented with the five-member bench’s decision to forgo live streaming of the hearing on May 30 in a 4:1 vote. The advocate general (AG) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made the request to stream the proceedings live, and the request was granted.

In a comprehensive ruling on the plea, the highest court gave an explanation for its choice to forego live streaming of the NAB amendments case proceedings, citing the possibility that these sessions might be utilized for “political purposes and point scoring.”

In his lengthy 13-page dissenting note, the chief justice pointed out that the Supreme Court had ruled that live streaming of court proceedings in all cases involving matters of public importance is a recognized fundamental right protected by Article 19-A of the Constitution.

He cited the rulings in the Qazi Faez Isa case, which acknowledged the people’s right to obtain information on topics of public significance under Article 19-A of the Constitution.

The chief justice emphasized that live streaming of court sessions guarantees accountability and openness in the operations of government agencies and institutions.

Judge Minallah further declared that the public has a right to live stream the court proceedings since cases heard under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, including this appeal, are matters of public concern.

According to him, this right should serve as guidance when deciding whether or not to order live streaming, and it should only be used in dire situations and for convincing reasons.

The judge ruled that unless there is a clearly solid cause in the public interest, the proceedings cannot be stopped once they have been live streamed.

The Court should proceed “in favour of the millions of followers and their representatives,” according to Justice Athar Minallah.

He argued that the “damage [done by the court] was irretrievable,” citing the “grave wrong done” in depriving elected Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of the right to a fair trial.

“A constitutional court cannot disregard the perception of the existence of a coercive apparatus of the State, especially in light of the unjust treatment of representatives of the people in the past.” In his minority decision, Justice Minallah states that “it is not unfounded to perceive this Court as complicit in or permitting the elected representatives to be humiliated, harassed, and persecuted for purposes other than bona fide reasons.”

The judge stated that it is “evident from the results of the last general elections” that PTI founder Imran Khan has millions of fans nationwide, much like other former elected prime ministers.

“He is unquestionably not your typical prisoner or convicted felon.”

Read more: PTI Founder Twitter Account Being Run from US

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa case established certain principles, and the rejection of a given right would unjustifiably raise suspicions.

The court declared that by providing live streaming of the court proceedings to the public, it is required to maintain openness and the implementation of the right given by Article 19-A of the Constitution.

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