Recently two Pakistani networks were embroiled in a court case in UK over one network (Geo Group) accusing the other network (ARY Group) of indulging in defamation and libel.
The high profile case concerning two Pakistani media conglomerates was heard in the UK and was recently concluded – with the judge awarding damages of £185,000 (some PKR 25 million) that ARY needs to pay to Geo over defaming its owner Mir Shakil ur Rahman.
After the conclusion of this case, and the passage of almost a month, the UK-based Judge Sir David Eady has ruled that ARY needs to broadcast the news of its loss to Geo in its TV channels. And that too in Urdu. Failure to do so could mean more punitive measures against the already penalized network.
ARY needs to state that:
“On Dec 2, 2016, the High Court of Justice ordered the UK broadcaster of ARY News… to pay £185,000 in libel damages to Mir Shakilur Rehman, the Editor-in-Chief of Jang/Geo Group, in relation to seriously defamatory allegations broadcast in 24 programmes which the judge said simply had no foundation.
The court held that the broadcasts were unrelenting and calculated to arouse hatred towards Mir Shakilur Rehman (and indeed quite possibly violence) among members of the Pakistani community in this jurisdiction.”
The judge told ARY to broadcast the above message in Urdu on Dec 23rd at the following timeslots at the beginning of each hour:
- 6 PM
- 10 PM
- 3 AM
In case that idea of public humiliation wasn’t enough, the judge also ordered ARY to state that it had no evidence to back up its claims against the owner of Geo Group.
It should be mentioned that ARY has appealed against this decision and that nothing is known about the status of that appeal to date. The appeal is expected to delay the time when it is supposed to carry an on-air correction on its TV channels.