h1

PLD 2002 SC 514

Per Mian Muhammad Ajmal, J.

(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 185(2)-

Learned counsel for the respondents raised preliminary objection with regard to Civil Appeal No. 1952 of 1996 that the same was time-barred by 196 days, hence, the said appeal was liable to be dismissed on this score alone, Since civil Appeals Nos. 1427 and 1952 of 1996 have arisen out of the same judgment and we propose to dispose of both the appeals through this common judgement, therefore, we condone the delay in filing civil Appeal No. 1952 of 1996.[p. 521] A

(c) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 185(2)(d)-
R/w Chap. 4-H, R.5 of High Court Rules and Orders
(Lahore), Vol. V S. 98(2) proviso of Civil Procedure
Code (V of 1908)-

So far as the contention of the learned counsel that the learned Reference Judge could not pronounce the judgment and could not go beyond the points referred to him for his opinion is concerned, we do not find any substance in this contention as the perusal of the judgement of the Reference Judge would show that the learned Judge confined his opinion to the points referred to him and he has not gone beyond the reference. The facts of Muhammad Sayyar’s case (supra) referred by the learned counsel, are distinguishable and are not applicable to the instant case. [p. 525] J

(d) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 19-

Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of Press.

However, it does not even licence to the press to publish any material which may harm of cause damage to the reputation of a person and such freedom of press is subject to such restrictions as could be legitimately imposed under the law. Article 19, both in its original as well as amended from, is reproduced hereinbelow:-

Article 19 original

“Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the itnerest of the glory of Islam or the Integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of Court, defamation or incitement to an offence”.

Article 19 amended.

“Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law n the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of Court, commission of or incitement to an offence.”

In the original Article word ‘defamation’ was available which was substituted by the word ‘commission of vide section 4 of the Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1975 (LXXI of 1975). Although the scope of freedom of press has been enlarged after the omission of the word ‘defamation’ from Article 19 yet it does not licentiate the press to publish such material which may harm or cause damage to the reputation, honor and prestige of a person. The Article provides the freedom of press subject to any reasonable restrictions which may be imposed by law in the public interest and glory of Islam, therefore,, the press is not free to publish anything they desired. The press is bound to take full care and caution before publishing any material in press and to keep themselves within the bounds and ambit of the provisions of the Article

Before parting with the judgment, we would like to observe again that the press is not free to publish anything which is prejudicial to the interest of any person or which may harm the reputation of anybody and it must take due care and caution before publishing any such matter in the press and it should verify the correctness of such matters from the concerned quarters.[p. 524, 525 & 526] G, H & L

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