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Student’s petition against presidency officials dismissed

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed against the alleged theft of a sixth grader’s speech, which he was supposed to deliver at the President House.

The court said the petition was not maintainable due to factual controversies that could only be settled in civil court.

Since the ceremony at which the petitioner was supposed to deliver the speech had passed, the matter had become infructuous and was subsequently dismissed by the court.

After hearing the preliminary arguments on Dec 23, the court reserved its order on the maintainability of the petition.

The student, Mohammad Sabeel Haider, cited the secretary to the president, the additional secretary at the president’s secretariat, the director colleges at the Directorate of Education, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the managing director of Pakistan Television and Ayesha Ishtiaq through the principal of the Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2 as respondents in the petition.

The petition said that the respondents offered Mr Haider the opportunity to deliver a speech at a ceremony to mark the 141th birthday of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on Dec 14 on the topic of ‘Pakistan ka Mustaqbil’ which would be recorded on Dec 22.

He prepared a speech with his father’s help and forwarded it to officials at the presidency for approval, which the respondents acknowledged and approved, and returned after it was vetted.

He was informed on Dec 22 that another student would deliver a speech. The petitioner’s counsel told the court that the speech delivered by the other student was the one written by the petitioner.

Calling it theft, the petitioner’s counsel said the action was a violation of intellectual property rights and copyrights.

The petition was filed on Dec 23 and taken up the same day in court. Although the petitioner’s counsel insisted the court pass an order against the airing of the speech, the judge reserved the order on the petition’s maintainability.

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