Chief Justice of Pakistan Calls for Integrity in Journalism Amid Contempt of Court Case

Islamabad – Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, emphasized the importance of integrity in journalism during the hearing of a contempt of court case against Member of National Assembly Mustafa Kamal and Senator Faisal Vawda. Addressing the court, Justice Isa remarked on the lucrative nature of falsehoods in the media and the judiciary’s role in protecting journalists who uphold truth and integrity.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice Isa directed lawyer Hafiz Irfan to support his arguments with references from the Quran and Hadith. He stated, “We are not taking any action now; we will first observe the conduct.”

Mustafa Kamal’s lawyer, Barrister Farogh Naseem, argued that since May 16, his client had refrained from making any supportive comments regarding the controversial statements in question. Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan noted that Mustafa Kamal had hinted at holding a press conference, which could potentially aggravate the situation.

In response to the Attorney General’s remarks, Justice Isa admonished him, saying, “You are a prosecutor, don’t talk like that.” He further commented on the state of journalism, asserting that false reporting has become a profitable enterprise. “Lying gives dollars,” Justice Isa remarked, underscoring the need for truthfulness in media reporting.

Justice Isa also emphasized the judiciary’s role in protecting journalists, saying, “We saved all the journalists,” while encouraging constructive criticism of court decisions. He stated, “One must criticize the court decisions, blow them away,” highlighting the importance of accountability and transparency in the judiciary.

President of the Supreme Court Bar expressed his opposition to anti-judiciary campaigns, to which Justice Isa responded, “If anyone wants to criticize my decision, read it.” This comment reflects his commitment to openness and his readiness to engage with informed critique.

The Attorney General raised concerns about the lack of regulation for social media, suggesting that TV channels should be notified of such regulations. This points to a broader issue of media governance and the challenges posed by digital platforms in maintaining journalistic standards.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the contempt of court suo motu case till June 28, allowing time for further examination of the issues raised and the conduct of the parties involved.

The hearing highlighted significant concerns about the ethical standards in journalism and the impact of media conduct on public perception of the judiciary. Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa’s remarks serve as a reminder of the critical role that truthfulness plays in media and its broader implications for justice and democracy in Pakistan. The case continues to unfold, with the next hearing scheduled for June 28, promising further insights into the relationship between the judiciary and media in Pakistan.