6th grader’s plea against ‘stealing’ of speech dismissed

Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by a 6th grade student Muhammad Sabeel Haider who had sought the court’s interventional on the stealing of his speech by none other than the staff and officials of the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The petitioner had claimed his speech on Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was ‘thieved’ which he was supposed to deliver at President House in connection with the birth anniversary of Qaid-e-Azam.
Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC after hearing preliminary arguments on December 23 had reserved the order on maintainability of the petition. However, on Tuesday the court dismissed the petition. Sabeel Haider had cited Secretary to President of Pakistan, Additional Secretary at the President’s secretariat, Director Colleges of the Directorate of Education, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Managing Director of the Pakistan Television, Ayesha Ishtiaq through Principal Islamabad College for Girl, F-6/2 as respondents in the petition.
According to the petition a ceremony with regard to the 141st birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was scheduled with the title “Quaid-e-Azam aur Bachay” or Quaid-e-Azam and Children. The respondents had asked Sabeel on December 14 to deliver a speech in the ceremony on the “Pakistan ka Mustaqbil” of Future of Pakistan which had to be recorded on December 22.
For rehearsal, he daily participated in a session and memorized as well as read out the speech. He also took help of his father prepared script of speech and forwarded it to the Aiwan-e-Sadr for approval of the President Mamnoon Hussain’s staff.
Haider continued preparing for the ceremony and also bought a new suit and pair of shoes for the event. However, on December 22 Haider was informed that the speech was going to be delivered by a girl and when she delivered the speech it turned out that it was the speech he had emailed to the Aiwan-e-Sadr for approval. The counsel for the petitioner termed it ‘stealing’ and contended that it was also a violation of intellectual property, intellect and copyrights.
The petition was filed on December 23 and the court took it up on the same day. Though the counsel was insisting the court to pass an order against airing of the said speech but the judge reserved order on the maintainability of the petition which was later announced on Tuesday.

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