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Chief justice directs media not to comment on controversial amnesty ordinance

(PPF/IFEX) - Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has directed media outlets, especially the electronic media, not to discuss or comment on a case relating to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) amnesty currently being heard by the full bench of the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

The chief justice issued the directive to the media first on 7 December 2009 and again on 9 December. Chaudhry said that the case is sub judice and, if necessary, the court would pass an order to restrain the media from discussing the issue. However, both the print and electronic media can report on the proceedings of the court.

During the proceedings of the case on 9 December, Acting Attorney General Shah Khawar complained that, despite the directive from the court, discussions were taking place on television talk shows. The chief justice asked media personnel present at the court to convey the message to other media outlets to avoid conducting talk shows on the issue.

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