ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to withdraw notices issued to journalists for criticism on the judiciary.
Last week, the FIA issued summons notices to 65 individuals including 47 journalists from mainstream media and social media over a ‘malicious anti-judiciary campaign’.
The orders were passed by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali.
Office bearers from the Journalists Association of Supreme Court appeared in the hearing while Attorney General Mansoor Awan represented the government.
Read more: JIT constituted to probe campaign against judiciary
Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the country is damaged if a mockery is made of the judiciary. However, he added that journalists should not be harassed or intimidated just because they criticized something.
The chief justice also said that cases should not be filed against journalists for merely expressing right to free speech. The three-member SC bench ordered FIA to withdraw the notices served to the journalists.
It is pertinent to mention here that the caretaker government constituted JIT to investigate a campaign reportedly launched against the judiciary following the Supreme Court s (SC) verdict that upheld the Dec 22 decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) depriving PTI of its iconic symbol — bat .