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Contempt of court: Pak TV channel tenders apology

March 9, 2007

The Geo TV network of Pakistan has tendered an unconditional apology before a full bench of the Lahore High Court, Pakistan, in a contempt of court case.

The proceedings had been initiated against the channel for telecasting a programme in which a High Court official was shown taking bribe.

The court described the programme as an attempt to “lower the dignity of the courts.”

Mir Shakilur Rehman, chairman of the Geo TV network, stated before the bench that information relating to courts shown in the programme was incorrect. Though the facts could have been verified before airing the programme, yet regrettably no such verification was done, Mir Shakilur Rehman admitted.

He further said the television channel never intended to cast any aspersion on the court and, if at all any such impression had been created, the same was sincerely regretted.

The full bench observed that the information should have been verified before being telecast. The bench asked Mir Shakilur Rehman to be careful in the future.

The Lahore High Court, after considering the apology, ordered that, to demonstrate the bona fide and sincerity of what had been stated before the court, the respondent channel show regret/apology daily at appropriate timings till the next hearing on March 12, 2007.

The Lahore High Court also ordered the Geo TV network publish the apology/regret on the front pages of the dailies Jang and The News till the next hearing on March 12.

The court exempted Mir Shakilur Rehman from personal appearance at the next hearing, but refused to exempt his son Mir Ibrahim from the same.







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