ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday directed the Islamabad police to record the statement of journalist, Matiullah Jan, about his abduction and release on July 21.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the suo moto notice pertaining to the alleged contemptuous tweet by Matiullah.

Matiullah Jan was reportedly abducted by plain clothes officials and policemen wearing uniforms of the anti-terrorism department on Tuesday morning from Islamabad’s sector G-6/1-3, but was found near Fateh Jang Road late at night and returned home safely. A video purported to be of the kidnapping sparked an outcry on social media.

In the contempt matter, the bench accepted the request of the journalist to grant some time to engage a counsel and prepare the reply of the notice. He told the bench due to his kidnapping he could not prepare the reply and engage a counsel.

At the onset of hearing, Justice Gulzar expressing concern over the kidnapping of Matiullah, remarked that on Tuesday there was hue and crying on the social media that he is kidnapped.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan informed the bench that an FIR has been registered by Jan’s younger brother Shahid Abbasi in Police Station, Aabpara, Islamabad that Matiullah was kidnapped by unknown persons, but was released late at the night the same day (July 21).

The Chief Justice questioned that whether the statement of Matiullah has been recorded? He asked what the government departments, have been doing. He added that when the journalist was found it was the duty of the police to record his statement.

Matiullah informed the court, “Whatever has happened yesterday (kidnapping) is linked with contempt of court case. I was threatened because of this case.” He added, “I restrained myself to give statement because of the contempt case.”

The bench expected that the government shall take taken action on the incident noted in the FIR and proceed in accordance with the law. The court ordered that after the statement police shall take further action and also file a challan in the court. The IGP Islamabad was ordered to file report of the matter on next the hearing.

Later, the bench deferred hearing in this matter for two weeks in this matter.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court disposed of the writ petition filed by Matiullah’s brother under Article 199 of Constitution.

The IHC in its order noted: “It is the impunity and fearlessness caught on the CCTV footage which raises serious questions. Were the public office holders complacent? If not, then has the rule of law in the capital become so vulnerable and weak that criminals can commit grave crimes with such impunity and that too, in police uniforms and vehicles having an official appearance? Such incidents and impunity are intolerable in a State governed under a constitution which guarantees fundamental rights.”

It said that impunity for crimes against journalists are taken seriously globally because of its fall out on the society and the fundamental rights of the general public. Abduction or enforced disappearance of any citizen is one of the gravest offences and thus cannot be tolerated in a society that professes to be committed to upholding the rule of law.