LHC full bench on anti-judiciary speeches dissolved yet again

LAHORE - A Lahore High Court full bench seized with the hearing of petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other leaders of the PML-N has been dissolved yet again.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and consisting of Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Mubeen assembled to hear the matter but Justice Mubeen refused to hear the case for personal reasons.

On this, head of the bench Justice Naqvi referred the case to the chief justice for constitution of a new bench for hearing of the matter.

Previously, the full bench got dissolved before it could start proceedings because of a new roster of the judges working at all benches of the high court.

Amna Malik, Munir Ahmad and others had moved the petitions against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N for their contemptuous remarks against the judges of the superior courts. Justice Naqvi last week had asked the Chief Justice to constitute a full bench for hearing of the petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches and sent all the petitions to him.

He had also expressed serious concerns over speeches of the leaders of the ruling party, and had summoned secretary of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to submit reply within seven days. They said the Pemra had intentionally been allowing broadcast of hate speeches and contemptuous remarks on the television channels as it did not play its due role to ensure coverage of such speeches.

They said disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif was now an ordinary citizen as he neither held any public office nor a member of any political party in light of the disqualification judgement.

They argued that Nawaz Sharif and other leaders of the ruling party had been trying to prove the Supreme Court’s judgement wrong and prejudiced. He pointed out that the Pemra had failed to act as an independent regulator and it became a subordinate body of the government.

The petitioner said that PEMRA officials should ensure that they are public officials and are not working to show loyalty to PML-N. They should protect the citizens of Pakistan and institutions in every way.

They also said the PEMRA was bound to perform its duties with due diligence in order to protect state institutions and the dignity and integrity of courts. He said the PEMRA had the powers to bar the media houses from airing anything which was against the laws and offensive to the state institutions. The petitioners prayed to the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the leaders of the PML-N and take action against PEMRA for not controlling alleged contemptuous speeches on TVs.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt