Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has sent one billion rupee legal notice each through his legal Counsel to ‘BOL News Channel’ and anchor Dr. Shahid Masood for airing/anchoring an allegedly malicious programme to defame him.
The Alleged Violation
Anchor Dr. Shahid Masood hosted a programme titled “Live with Dr. Shahid Masood” on 24th January 2017 at 08.05 pm on BOL News Channel and passed conjecture, libelous and defamatory statements to damage the Finance Minister’s personality and character.
He allegedly made a completely false statement hinting to an alleged meeting between Finance Minister and Rawalpindi (“GHQ”), whereas, no such meeting had taken place at all. The story was “utterly false and absolutely fictitious”, says Dar. The anchor’s fabrication had the malicious intent to defame and disgrace him, Dar added.
In response to this “slanderous and defamatory programme”, the Finance Minister has decided to take a legal action against the anchor who is known for fabrication and foul mouthing as well as the TV channel for airing and repeat airing of the said broadcast.
Demands Rs. 1 Billion in Damages
The legal notice, sent to the channel and anchor under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002, demands to publish a comprehensive and proper apology and retraction as well as payment of a sum of Rupees one billion as damages to the Finance Minister on account of the defamatory broadcast, otherwise, civil and criminal proceedings will be initiated against the BOL News Channel and Dr. Shahid Masood.
The Finance Minister has also made a complaint to PEMRA council of complaints requesting the Authority to take appropriate legal and necessary action against M/s Labbaik Private (Ltd) and BOL News channel for broadcasting defamatory, false and fictitious account of facts against the complainant.