Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, issued a firm warning to the country’s media during a hearing of multiple pleas seeking timely elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.
“If media raises suspicions about the elections, they will be committing a violation of the constitution,” he remarked, adding that journalists cannot simply grab a microphone and say there are doubts about the elections.
“An anchor or reporter cannot raise doubts about whether the elections will happen or not,” he stated.
Faez Isa warned that if rumors or speculations are spread about the elections, action will be taken by PEMRA.
The head of the apex court stressed that, “Media outlets should know that they do not have the right to lie. Media freedom has been granted in the constitution.”
He further said that if a media person has suspicions about the elections, he will not tell the public, but he can tell his wife.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the government to ensure the conduct of general elections on February 8, a day after President Arif Alvi and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja unanimously agreed on the aforementioned date during a meeting held at the President’s House.
A three-member bench headed by CJP Isa and comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan heard the case.
The court, in its order, mentioned that the notification of the general election date has also been issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), stating that no party has any objection to holding elections on February 8.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa asked everyone in the courtroom as well as the Attorney-General for Pakistan, Mansoor Usman Awan, if they had any objection to the election date, but all replied in the negative.
“After all the requirements are fulfilled, the Election Commission should announce the election schedule,” CJP Isa said.
The chief justice said: “Elections will definitely be held on February 8, God willing.”