ARY News and its affiliate parent companies are no strangers to defamation lawsuits. The resultant cases, most of which have been tried in courts in the United Kingdom, have cost ARY hundreds of thousands in pound sterling, so much so that the ARY UK filed for voluntary bankruptcy in 2017. However, the bankruptcy has not shielded ARY from further liable allegations.
Here we cover the most prominent ARY defamation cases in the past few years.
Earlier this month, activist Gul Bukhari won her defamation case against ARY in the United Kingdom, following a ruling from media regulatory body Ofcom which found that New Vision TV, which broadcasts ARY, had run a fake story about a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) case against her. In the original broadcast, ARY had aired a news broadcast which falsely stated that the FIA’s counter-terrorism wing had issued Bukhair a notice to appear, pending a counter-terrorism case. Bukhari contended that ARY had engaged in damaging and disparaging statements, likening her to a terrorist.
Ofcom ruled against ARY, saying that they had misrepresented material facts.
In October 2021, New Vision TV issued an apology to Ishtaq Dar for publicizing allegations of corruption and misuse of authority. During a broadcast of the news program Powerplay, former Aide to the PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar had alleged that Mr. Dar had prevented the Financial Monitoring Unit of Pakistan from completing its proper due diligence in an effort to “protect individuals involved in the Choudhury Sugar Mills money laundering case.”
Before the UK High Court made a decision, ARY UK offered to publish an apology and pay for damages.
Mian Mohammad Mansha
Nishat Group chariman Mian Mohammad Mansha claimed that ARY broadcast various allegations on the television program Kab Talk, including claims that he laundered money during his purchase of the of the St James’s Hotel and Club in Mayfair, London. Mansha testified that the statements were “completely false and defamatory.” Mansha settled with ARY, receiving £75,000 in damages and agreed legal costs of £200,000
Mir Shakilur Rehman
Owner-editor of Jang Mir Shakilur Rehman argued that ARY had mounted a campaign of harassment and defamation against him, striking the “core attributes” of his personality across 100 programs on the network. The UK High Court ruled that ARY Network Ltd., and its Chief Operating Officer had failed to provide sufficient defense against these allegations.
The court ruled in favor of Rehman’s liable claims, but dismissed his claims of harassment. Mir Shakilur Rehman was awarded Rs.3 million in his defamation case against ARY – although ARY filed bankruptcy before it paid.