No compromise on wages of journalists: CJP

City reporter

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - Islamabad—Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has remarked it should be kept in mind by the government that no compromise would be made on the wages of media employees and journalists.

CJP gave these remarks while presiding over a 3-member bench of SC during the course of hearing of implementation of 7th Wage Board Award (WBA) case Tuesday.

He remarked “government should keep in mind that no compromise will be made on the wages of media employees and journalists. Implementation of 7th WBA be ensured at every cost”. Supreme Court (SC) sought detailed report from the government on practical implementation of 7th Wage Board Award (WBA) on March, 26.

Afzal Siddiqui advocate appeared in the court and he told that court’s orders on wage board award has been implemented.

CJP inquired if he was sure that 7th WBA had been approved finally.

Afzal Siddiqui advocate said certain important points need arguments on this count. We are making it clear with reference to implementation of 7th WBA that it will be implemented in its true letter and spirit and salaries will be paid accordingly”, he added.

It is correct that certain newspapers are paying far less salaries still, he said.

CJP observed “it is best for the industry that you enforce wage board award for the sake of better working relationship between owners of the news papers and the workers. As many as 12 years have been elapsed but award could not be implemented, he further observed.

He remarked “ we have not issued notices so far. If the salaries have been revised or otherwise. It is correct that we are hearing review of this case today.

Afzal Siddiqui said salaries will be enhanced under wage board award.

Justice Azmat remarked they are making no payment.

Afzal Siddiqui said there are certain legal points involved therein. “I don’t say that previous decision be set aside.

CJP remarked nothing will be accepted from your side with reference to salaries of employees of the media.

Afzal Siddiqui said there are two kinds of journalists, working and non working.

CJP remarked “ if you will not give arguments then we will call Abdul Hafiz Pirzada.

Fakhar, a reporter from a private TV channel told the court that owners of private TV channels were not paying the salaries and the news papers are facing worse situation than electronic media in this connection. Several employees have committed suicide, he said.

Afzal Siddiqui said the statement that salaries have not been disbursed is not correct.

Khalid Azim told the court that protest rallies by the journalists are continuing outside the offices of news papers and press club. Who are journalists, the law is very clear on it. Date of hearing of the case may please be fixed now, he prayed.

Afzal Siddiqui said he would have to contact the concerned quarters in connection with the fixation of date.

The court adjourned the hearing till March, 26 besides seeking the detailed report from the federal government with respect to practical implementation of 7th wage board award.

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