The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken Suo Motu notice of the brutal killing of senior journalist, Mr. Arshad Sharif.
The incident not only shocked the whole nation but also caused unrest amongst the journalist community. The killing was publicly decried, and an overwhelming number of requests were sent to the Apex Court to intervene in the matter and ensure dispensation of justice in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
The prevailing public sentiments were observed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan and accordingly he tasked the Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court to conduct the necessary inquiry.
The report filed by the DG, Human Rights Cell was sent by the Hon’ble Chief Justice to Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar for their opinion. Both the learned Judges recommended the invocation of the original jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution in the matter.
The Suo Motu case was accordingly fixed on 6th December, 2022 before a five member bench comprising the Hon’ble Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Mr. Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Mr. Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Mr. Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar. Notices were issued to the Secretary Interior, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Secretary Information and Broadcasting, DG (FIA), DG (IB), President PFUJ, and the Attorney General for Pakistan.
At the conclusion of the hearing on 6th December, 2022 the Court issued the following directions:
i. The Additional Attorney General for Pakistan shall submit the report of the Fact-Finding Committee to the Court today;
ii. The Secretary, Ministry of Interior shall place the FIR that will be lodged today at Islamabad regarding the killing of Mr. Arshad Sharif before the Court tomorrow; and
iii. The Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall submit a report on the ongoing Kenyan investigation in Court tomorrow.
The case has been adjourned to 7th December, 2022 at 12:30pm.