LAHORE (INN) – A Lahore High Court judge on Monday dismissed Sophia Mirza’s legal petition to ban her former husband Umar Farooq Zahoor from appearing on Pakistani media, warning the actress and her lawyer that of following the rules and stop abusing legal process in personal fights.
At the same hearing, the Assistant Attorney General of Pakistan informed the court that Sophia Mirza and her counsel were lying that Umar Farooq Zahoor, Sophia Mirza’s former husband, was a fugitive of the law and therefore should be banned from the media. The govt representative told the court that Umar Farooq Zahoor was a free citizen and not wanted by the government of Pakistan in any case.
The decision of the court came during the third and last hearing of Khushbakht Mirza’s petition before the LHC judge Justice, Shahid Jamil Khan. On previous two hearings, the actress and her lawyer had sought after failing to satisfy the court on the grounds for the ban through the PEMRA, without justifying why Liberia’s Ambassador-at-Large should be banned from the media to present his views.
At the third hearing, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan read out the order passed on the previous hearing and asked the Counsel of Khush Bakht Mirza that has he placed documents on record as was directed on the last date of hearing to which he answered in affirmative.
Then Justice Shahid Jamil turned to the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) and asked him if he sought instructions from PEMRA to which he answered in the affirmative. He further said that the application placed on record does not bear the signatures of the applicant, Khushbakht Mirza nor does it have any stamp showing that it has been received by PEMRA. He further apprised the Court that according to PEMRA there is no such application available in their record.
Justice Shahid Jamil Khan was told by a PEMRA representative, who was present on Court’s call, that PEMRA does not have the said application in their record.
Justice Shahid Jamil said, “Let me direct the petitioner to approach you within two days time with the Application. The Deputy Director of Legal PEMRA, while answering the Court’s query, submitted that the PEMRA will decide the application of Khusbakht Mirza in one week s time if she approached PEMRA with her complaint.
Then Justice Shahid Jamil addressed the counsel of Khushbakht Mirza and asked him that is he fine with it. To which he replied that they filed the Application in the 7th month, but the PEMRA has not addressed the issue. The judge said to leave the previous Application as it is not available in the record of PEMRA and file the same application afresh with same annexes and PEMRA will decide the matter according to law at the earliest.
Counsel of Khushbakht Mirza further tried to say something upon which the judge said if you are not happy with this suggestion, then he may dismiss the petition.
Counsel of Khushbakht Mirza said: “I am ready to approach PEMRA but meanwhile direct PEMRA to stop airing version of Umar Farooq to which the Judge replied go to PEMRA along with Application and tell them under what law they should stop the channels from airing interviews of a fugitive of the law.”
At this stage, Assitant Attorney General assisted the Court in that the Counsel of the Petitioner is misleading the Court about the status of Umar Farooq Zahoor as the warrants against him have already been withdrawn and he is not a fugitive from any Court of law.
The Counsel of Khusbakht Mirza said he wanted to make a submission upon which Judge replied that “I think you are not understanding in which direction the Court is heading. The Court is rather giving you a way to get your application addressed by PEMRA otherwise your Petition should have been dismissed on the first date of hearing being devoid of merits.”
The Justice Shahid Jamil proceeded with passing the Order that the Petitioner Khushbakht Mirza shall approach the PEMRA with her application within two days time and the PEMRA shall decide the same strictly in accordance with law.
When the counsel again asked the judge to ask PEMRA not to air news of Umar Farooq Zahoor, the judge told the Counsel that he is proving to be an embarrassment to the legal community of Lahore by behaving in an untoward manner. The judge said: “Don’t you know how things work in Court? And if you are expecting that this Court will pass any such order that you will get a chance to highlight things in media and newspaper and you will get new stuff to share on media for sake of publicity then it is not going to happen. The Court will proceed in strict accordance with law. You have been wasting Court’s time for the last two dates of the hearing. Your petition deserved to be dismissed with costs.”