SC irked over politi­cians’ pho­tos fea­tur­ing on ads

CJ or­ders Sindh Chief Min­is­ter Mu­rad to pay Rs1.4m within 10 days ei­ther from his pocket or us­ing PPP funds, di­rects KP to sub­mit its re­ply over pub­li­ca­tion of ex-cm Khat­tak’s pic­ture in two ad­ver­tise­ments by Mon­day

The Gulf Today - - ASIA - BY TARIQ BUTT / NNI

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thurs­day di­rected Sindh Chief Min­is­ter Mu­rad Ali Shah to pay Rs1.4 mil­lion for a pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment ad­ver­tise­ment in which his pho­to­graph was fea­tured.

The court is­sued the or­der while hear­ing a suo motu no­tice per­tain­ing to me­dia ad­ver­tise­ments by the gov­ern­ments of Sindh, Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Pun­jab.

Chief Jus­tice Mian Saqib Nisar di­rected the chief min­is­ter to pay the amount within 10 days ei­ther from his own pocket or us­ing Pak­istan Peo­ples Party (PPP) funds. He pointed out that for­mer Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Shah­baz Sharif had paid at least Rs5m for an ad­ver­tise­ment fea­tur­ing his pic­ture.

The court also di­rected the KP gov­ern­ment to sub­mit its re­ply over pub­li­ca­tion of for­mer chief min­is­ter Pervez Khat­tak’s pic­ture in two ad­ver­tise­ments by Mon­day.

On April 4, 2018, the chief jus­tice, dur­ing a hear­ing of the case, had deemed us­ing pic­tures for self-pro­mo­tion as in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“The use of pic­tures in gov­ern­ment ads on TV or in print is hence­forth pro­hib­ited by the court.”

The KP in­for­ma­tion sec­re­tary sub­mit­ted a re­port in court seek­ing 10 days to sub­mit a re­ply, but the court re­jected the re­port, with Jus­tice Nisar re­mark­ing that the KP gov­ern­ment was at­tempt­ing to mis­lead the court.

‘NA­TION’S EX­PENSE’

He rep­ri­manded the in­for­ma­tion sec­re­tary for what he said was the un­law­ful de­fence of po­lit­i­cal ig­ures by a gov­ern­ment ser­vant.

On Feb 28, 2018, the chief jus­tice had taken suo motu no­tice of gov­ern­ment’s award­ing of ad­ver­tise­ments to the me­dia at “na­tion’s ex­pense.”

The court had con­sti­tuted a three­mem­ber bench and di­rected the in­for­ma­tion sec­re­taries of the three prov­inces to sub­mit the record of ad­ver­tise­ments awarded to print and elec­tronic me­dia. It also asked the author­i­ties to pro­vide de­tails of how many ad­ver­tise­ments were pro­vided to each me­dia house.

The chief jus­tice had said that the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments run ad­ver­tise­ments in the me­dia with large lo­gos and pic­tures to pro­mote their projects, “yet 4,500 schools in Sindh are de­prived of potable wa­ter.”

CJ RE­TURNS

On Wed­nes­day night, CJ Saqib Nisar re­turned to Pak­istan af­ter col­lect­ing funds for Mohmand and Di­amer Bhasha dams dur­ing his Lon­don visit.

Talk­ing to me­dia at the Islamabad air­port, the top judge said that he will also visit United States for fundrais­ing cam­paign.

Ear­lier, Nisar said that “fail­ure to con­struct un­con­tro­ver­sial dams in the coun­try was a crim­i­nal neg­li­gence. Wa­ter is a hope of life for our com­ing gen­er­a­tions and we have to take steps to save wa­ter from be­ing wasted,” he added.

He said that wa­ter level in Pak­istan is fall­ing sharply, which has af­fected daily life in ma­jor cities. He said that un­der­ground wa­ter level in La­hore has fallen to four hun­dred feet while in Quetta it has fallen to more than 500 feet.

Chief jus­tice said that dur­ing a visit to Karachi he took suo motu no­tice against il­le­gal wa­ter hy­drants and also took ac­tion against wa­ter maia who was sell­ing wa­ter to the ci­ti­zens at a very high price.

He fur­ther vowed to not let any­one mis­ap­pro­pri­ate the funds be­ing col­lected for con­struc­tion of dams to re­solve the coun­try’s wa­ter cri­sis.

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