Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah has said that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s act of issuing notices to journalists is tantamount to harassment. “The FIA should issue notices only when its officials learn how to exercise this power,” he said.
Justice Minallah issued these remarks while hearing journalist Absar Alam’s petition against a notice served on him by the FIA. Additional Attorney General told the court that legally this case has now been closed. To this, Justice Athar Minallah asked the AG as to why the notice was issued in the first place. He said that FIA officials are not capable to exercise the power to issue notices.
Advocate Usman Warraich, who appeared on behalf of Absar Alam, said that there must be some grounds for the notice which the FIA should reveal. The chief justice responded that the FIA had admitted that the issuance of notice was a mistake.
The additional attorney general then requested the court to dispose of Absar Alam’s petition against the FIA’s call up notice, but the judge said that the case would be fixed along with other complaints against FIA for Sep 27.
Following the hearing, Absar Alam said that the court declared that freedom of expression is important for democracy and it is the state’s job to protect it. He added that the case is currently being heard and a final verdict is yet to be issued.