ISLAMABAD - A writ petition seeking registration of FIR against ARY TV channel for allegedly committing blasphemy of Ahl-e-Bait in its morning show was moved in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here on Tuesday.

Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi admitted the petition for regular hearing and issued notices to the station house officer (SHO) Margallah police station who had not registered an FIR against the TV channel despite an application by the petitioner Naseer Ahmed Kayani Advocate.

The petitioner along with another lawyer Rao Abdur Raheem has also assailed an order of the additional session judge who accepted the application of FIR against Geo Television but rejected the application for registration of FIR against ARY television declaring it not cognisable and non-maintainable.

Kayani contended before the court that the same ASJ in the matter of an applicant Arshad Mehmood Butt had ordered for registration of FIR on May 17 against the Geo TV for allegedly airing blasphemous contents.

He informed the court that ARY television network in its morning show “Good Morning Pakistan with Nida Yasir” celebrated a false, fake and concocted marriage with so many nonsense/obscene things which were not only against our moral, social, legal and religious teachings and practices but the fun was also made of them.”

“In the said programme a controversial song/poem was played. During the said programme, anchorperson, participants and singer deliberately defamed, defiled and degraded holy Quran, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), Hazrat Fatima Zohra (RA) and Hazrat Ali-ul-Murtaza (RA) through movement and gestures,” he stated.

The petitioner maintained that the said TV channel and all the persons involved in its preparations have hurt feelings of the Muslims. This blasphemous act is cognisable offence under sections 298, 298-A, 295-A and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

He added that given the fact that the cognisable offence was made, SHO Margallah police station despite application, did not register the FIR.  Then, he moved an application under section 22-A with the court of an ASJ who dismissed the application with observations “from viewing of said programme, there is no indecency or any gesture, which may be treated as scandalous, malicious or outraging the religious feelings and simply airing any “Manqbat” through a programme, is not a crime cognisable, so the petition is not maintainable.” The petitioner said that the matter of the petitioner was similar and identical with the case of Arshad Mehmood Butt in whose matter the ASJ had ordered the otherwise and the FIR was registered.

Kayani argued before the IHC that the order of ASJ is illegal, unlawful and result of misreading and non-reading of the contents of the petitioner’s application. That ASJ has ignored that under section 154 if the contents of the application/information disclose the commission of cognisable offence, the police are duty bound to register the FIR. Therefore he prayed to the court to order registration of FIR against the ARY TV channel and against all those who participated in the preparation of the said programme.

After issuing the above said orders, the CJ IHC adjourned the hearing in this matter with date in office.