ARY UK has issued an apology to former finance minister Ishaq Dar on Monday for airing defamatory allegations of corruption and abuse of power. It has admitted that those allegations were fabricated.
Dar sued ARY for content aired in two news shows in July and August 2019.
In the show Powerplay, PTI government's special assistant to the prime minister Shahzad Akbar accused Dar of impeding the work of the Financial Monitoring Unit in Pakistan and doing so to “protect individuals involved in the Choudhury Sugar Mills money laundering case”.
On Monday, ARY aired the apology on Monday night, Pakistan time, in which it said: "Mr Dar never managed the Financial Monitoring Unit… never impeded [its] work, nor did he do anything to protect anybody in any case including the alleged Choudhury Sugar Mills case”.
The channel then said it "unconditionally apologise to Mr Ishaq Dar for the significant distress, upset and embarrassment which these broadcasts have caused him.”
According to Tuesday's story in Dawn Dar served the notice to ARY in July 2020. The following year, ARY UK made an offer for amends "a procedure introduced by the UK’s Defamation Act 1996, whereby a defendant in an action for defamation may make a written offer to publish an apology and pay damages. Acceptance of such an offer terminates defamation proceedings and parties settle between themselves," Dawn reports.
Along with a retraction and apology, Dar claimed damages for libel of around GBP 200,000 along with legal costs.
He told Dawn he has been vindicated and that the allegations made against him were “false, mala fide and evil”.
People took to social media to comment on how the win proves that effective judicial systems are more important in dealing with disinformation than regulatory media bodies.