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Supreme Court Rejects Live Streaming Plea for NAB Amendments Case, Cites Potential for Political Use

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a detailed verdict issued on Saturday, defended its decision to reject the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s plea for live streaming the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments case hearing. The court stated that broadcasting proceedings of cases involving politicians could potentially be exploited for political point-scoring.

The apex court’s verdict referenced Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, noting that when a political party leader, who is not a legal representative of the court, seeks to address the court, there is a risk that such hearings may be politicized and diverted from the actual subject matter of the appeals.

The application for live streaming was denied by the apex court in a 4-1 decision on May 30, with Justice Athar Minallah expressing dissent. The case was heard by a five-member larger bench, chaired by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Minallah, and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi.

The court’s order emphasized that allowing discussions on unrelated matters during proceedings could undermine the administration of justice. It cited Imran Khan’s address to the court on May 30, where he brought up issues such as the general elections of February 8, 2023, a commission of inquiry, and his own incarceration, none of which were relevant to the case at hand.

Such comments, the court stated, could distort public perception and impact the rights of individuals not directly involved in the case, potentially compromising their right to a fair trial and due process.

Additionally, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of maintaining the integrity and focus of court proceedings on the matters directly at hand. By refraining from allowing discussions on unrelated topics, the court aims to uphold the principles of fairness, impartiality, and justice.

It reiterated the need for all parties involved to adhere to the established legal procedures and to avoid using court hearings as platforms for extraneous agendas. In doing so, the court seeks to ensure that justice is served transparently and without prejudice, safeguarding the rights and interests of all parties involved in the legal process.

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