A regional court in Islamabad on Saturday ordered the police to register a case against the owner of Geo TV and the team of its morning show “Utho Jago Pakistan” under blasphemy and terrorism laws for defaming the extremely respected personalities of Islam.
The Islamabad added session judge, Jahangir Awan, had ordered the police to lodge the case against Mir Shakilur Rehman, Geo TV owner; Shaista Lodhi, the host of the programme; and other team members of the morning show.
In his orders, the judge stated the invocation of sections 295-A, 295-C and 298-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which primarily address insulting religious personalities. The judge further ordered an addition of a section under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The hearing will thus be continued in an anti-terrorism court.
A similar appeal was also made in a Lahore district court where the judge set aside the decree related to registering the blasphemy case against the Geo owner and his team and the actress of Pakistan, Veena Malek.
In the meantime, on Saturday the Punjab Bar Council approved a resolution against Geo TV accusing it for broadcasting a blasphemous programme last week which aggravated the Muslims of whole country.
The Bar called for an abrupt prohibition on the Geo TV broadcast, reporters and camerapersons from covering their events. In its resolution, the Bar further said that defaming religious personalities had offended millions of Muslims across the world.
The lawyers in Sukkur, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and other cities shunned the court proceedings to protest against Geo TV.
The provincial Punjab assembly had previously passed a resolution on Friday suggesting Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ban Geo TV.
Until recently Geo was Pakistan’s top TV channel but faced a bitter controversy after it accused Pakistan’s top intelligence agency for shooting Hamid Mir, the well-known anchor of Geo TV. This issue was not settled down when Lodhi, the host of blasphemous programme infuriated its millions of watchers on Thursday.