Supreme Court rules protest against judiciary and judges as an infringement of freedom of expression

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Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the social media campaign against the judiciary and judges to be in violation of freedom of expression. The statement issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan stated that organized campaigns against the judiciary or judges are not only regrettable, but also a violation of the limits of the right to freedom of expression as stipulated in Article 19 of the constitution.

The statement also warned that such campaigns could damage the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for which the constitution has entrusted the protection of people’s rights. It emphasized that criticism can be made in a suitable manner on court decisions without engaging in organized campaigns or defamation against the judiciary or judges. The Chief Justice and the Supreme Court have neither interfered in nor will interfere in the views of others without constitutional authority.

Furthermore, it was mentioned in the statement that it is the responsibility of knowledgeable individuals to correct any misinterpretation of Islamic principles or legal aspects, and that there are legal and constitutional avenues available for this purpose. The verses of the Quran were also cited in the context of the statement.

The Supreme Court, according to the statement, expressed regret that in such cases emotions are inflamed and Islamic teachings are misrepresented, similar to the Court’s call to end penalties for crimes against religion. It also mentioned that the Supreme Court has refuted any misinterpretation regarding a second constitutional amendment, and that many misunderstandings are being created due to incorrect reporting of the Court’s decisions in electronic, print, and social media.

Actions will be taken against those who spread misleading news about Supreme Court decisions, the statement further added. Islamabad police also issued a similar statement emphasizing that any action can be subject to criminal charges according to the law, and that some elements are attempting to disturb public peace through rumors. The Capital Police of Islamabad will take stringent action against such elements.

The police spokesperson also informed that Section 144 is in effect in Islamabad, and that actions will be taken against violators. Citizens were advised not to participate in any illegal activities and to report any such activities on the 15 helpline or the ICT 15 app.

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