ChitralToday report about sacked AKES official based on facts: court

ChitralToday report about sacked AKES official was true: court

CHITRAL: Additional District Judge Lower Chitral Mr Muhammad Qasim has observed that the report published in ChitralToday about sacked AKES Chitral assistant general manager Zohran Shah in the year 2014 was “true and published in good faith and public interest”.

The plaintiff, Zohran Shah, pursued the defamation case against the online newspaper for over seven years and lost it when the additional district judge dismissed it on Aug 26, 2021. 

In his 10-page judgement released on Sept 4, 2021, on the defamation case filed against Zar Alam Khan, the editor, and Zulfiqar Ahmad, reporter of ChitralToday, the judge wrote: “As sequel to my detailed discussion and findings, the plaintiff [Zohran Shah] failed to establish his claim through reliable and cogent evidence. Resultantly, the defamation suit in hand is not proved which is hereby dismissed.”

ChitralToday report against Zohran Shah was based on facts: courtThe judgment observed: “The record transpires that publication of the report by defendants against the plaintiff is an admitted fact from the pleadings as well as evidence of the parties. The plaintiff and defendants are not known to each other prior to the impugned publication. The plaintiff in his cross-examination has categorically admitted that he does not know the defendants previously. Thus there is no ill will or motive behind publication of the news in the website for some personal grudges. It is evident from the record that a protest has taken place at a premises in Upper Chitral. 

“The public raised certain slogans and, thereafter, the defendants have released the news on their website. It is established from record that a protest has undeniably taken place. So, the events reported are true.

“It appears from the records that the plaintiff has introduced certain new facts during the course of proceedings. The plaintiff has taken a subsequent plea that he has not been removed rather he has resigned from his post. In this regard, he has placed on file a document dated 25.09.2009. The said document is regarding his resignation from his services. Though the court has declined the introduction of the document vide its order dated 11.12.2020, however, the said document, Ex.PW-1/12 dated 25 September 2009 regarding his resignation is in direct conflict with his earlier stance at Para No-01 of his Sacked AKES official plaint. The plaint reveals that the plaintiff has served from January 1995 to December 2009, Similarly, this fact has further been admitted by the plaintiff in his cross-examination.

“The plaintiff has annexed another document dated 29.10.2009, wherein the plaintiff has admitted his removal from service. A news about his termination had also been published in on October 27, 2009, in a report. The document of service termination dated 29.09.2009 is placed on file which clearly shows and refers to the observation in the inquiry report dated 27.09.2009 coupled with a show-cause notice of misuse of institutional property to the extent of various unauthorized withdrawal for staff and personal use,” the judgment stated. 

“Above all, the plaintiff has revealed that he had also challenged his termination notification vide a writ petition [in Peshawar High Court] whereas he could not prove that he had wrongly been charged and terminated on the grounds of misuse, irregularities and corruption charges as plaintiff made withdrawal of the said writ petition.

“It is concluded that the publication of (reporting/slogans) are found to be true. They are made in good faith in the public interest and no ill-will or personal grudges of the defendants toward the plaintiff are proved. The plaintiff [Zohran Shah] failed to establish his claim through reliable and cogent evidence. Resultantly, the defamation suit is not proved which is hereby dismissed.”   

History of case 

Zohran Shah filed the defamation case against ChitralToday on June 23, 2014. He admitted that ChitralToday news website is accessed globally. He claimed that the defendants, the chief editor and reporter of ChitralToday, on March 27, 2014, “falsely reported a baseless news with malice that the plaintiff was removed from services after being found in massive corruption and irregularities. The words used by defendants are false and aimed to damage the good reputation and popularity of plaintiff and exposed him to hatred and contempt in the eyes of the general public.”

ChitralToday report about sacked AKES official based on facts: courtHence, the plaintiff brought the suit to the tune of Rs10 million as damages.

The case was filed by the sacked AKES Chitral assistant general manager after a report was published in this newspaper about a public protest held in Mastuj on March 27, 2014, against the closure of two community schools in the area. In that protest, the participants had stated that Zohran Shah was sacked for corruption in 2009 but he was still interfering in the affairs of the organization and was allegedly responsible for the closure of the schools.

On the other hand, the newspaper presented in the court documents showing the plaintiff had been sacked by the AKES-Pakistan head office in Karachi for the misuse of the organization’s resources on Sept 29, 2009.

The documents also showed that Zohran Shah had later filed a case in Peshawar High Court’s Mingora bench (Darul Qaza), seeking reinstatement on the post which was dismissed in 2012. 

The defence lawyer, Afzal Nageen, earlier maintained that the newspaper report had been published in public interest and that after the report the two schools were restored in Khuz village and Laspur. 

6 Replies to “ChitralToday report about sacked AKES official was true: court”

  1. @AHMED and SAQIB:

    This is beyond comprehension why a particular segment of society from Chitral or to be more precise some of Zohran Shah’s sympathizers are sill talking nonsense despite knowing the fact that he was terminated by AKES top management for his involvement in corruption as assistant GM AKES Chitral.
    It is important because here Shah had taken two different stances in front of courts.
    In one case he admitted that he was terminated and sought relief and failed to get any and in the other he claimed he was never sacked and sought damages for defamation from the newspaper. Thus he himself exposed his publicity and lies.
    Now his supporter says the matter should not be highlighted.

    Ghalat korum kardu birao achi ta neziru birani phik biti hal ko no ho. Bizbaro briaru ki hai pamirot goi re he matal ta kara no oshoya?

  2. Glorifying the matter repeatedly in itself indicate the malicious intend and personal grudges. No need to comment on the court decisions in Pakistan !!!

  3. Please stop all this Non-sense. What do you want to achieve out of repeatedly publishing such reports. Live and let others live peacefully. It doesn’t matter whether he resigned or was sacked, it happens in NGOs. For sacking someone in the NGO sectors you don’t need a big corruption case. People in management make hundreds of decisions and not all of them can be according to the organisational policies, and even a small mistake/ non-alignment is sufficient to release someone. Picking that point and making allegations about anyone is unethical. We all know the ethical standards of our courts. So don’t think you are a winner in this case. but not on the grounds of ethical standards.

    1. Saqib:

      Allow me to explain to you why this story is being highlighted. It is being highlighted because it involves corruption and misappropriation of Imamat resources. The guy in question did corruption and was sacked by AKES. First he secretly went to the high court seeking his reinstatement but failed to get any relief. Then he got an ex parte decision in the so called defamation case when this newspaper broke the story of his termination. He tried to put pressure on the media in order to hide his termination.

      He also kept shedding crocodile tears for complete seven years, saying ‘Muje kyon nikala or why he was removed (as assistant GM AKES)’ till he was EXPOSED through the court of law? So these are some of the reasons this story SHOULD be and MUST be highlighted so that people will get to know facts about this habitual petitioner.

      Well done ChitralToday!

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