Gilgit courts have no jurisdiction in Pakistan, say experts

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ISLAMABAD: Eminent legal experts and jurists say that the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) courts have no jurisdiction outside that area and any issue relating to broadcast of any content on the electronic media could only be dealt by Pemra.

Akram Sheikh, an eminent legal expert, told The News that no court of Gilgit-Baltistan had the jurisdiction whatsoever outside the region of Gilgit-Baltistan and it cannot proceed against a citizen of Pakistan who is protected under Article 4 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

“Not only this, the proceeding against Mir Shakil-ur dubious and wrong as Geo Television is run by a company, not individual, and laws provide very clear process to proceed against a company,” Akram Sheikh said adding “No criminal proceedings could be initiated against top management or even CEO of a company, and top management could only be proceeded for any civil liability.”

Akram Shiekh clarified that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has jurisdiction over these areas. The lawyers’ community was taken aback by proceedings in a Gilgit court, which awarded 26-year imprisonment to the accused without even hearing them. Top legal minds said that direct involvement of a person, facing charges of forcibly dragging 10 people out of the bus and killing them ruthlessly on sectarian grounds, in this case proves who is behind killing of thousands of Pakistanis. They said it has proved who is playing the dirty game of killing innocent people in the name of religion.

Former senior judge of the Supreme Court Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad while talking to The News said that issues relating to broadcast of contents are dealt by PEMRA and its position on the issue is more important. Justice Wajih said that jurisdiction of the courts in Gilgit-Baltistan is confined to those regions only. He said efforts were made to make Gilgit-Baltistan a province during the tenure of PPP government but it could not be done, as it was not possible constitutionally.

Akram Sheikh said that it was very unfortunate that process of law has been compromised simply to punish one person whereas the companies’ law is very much clear about the process to be followed in case of any alleged reported criminal activity. He said that Pakistani courts could take up this issue as they have jurisdiction in those areas. He said that areas of proper jurisdiction were police stations of Islamabad, Karachi and other Pakistani areas where the issue has already been resolved.

The News

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