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Court bans anti-judiciary speeches of Nawaz, Maryam

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to stop television channels from airing anti-judiciary speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders.

The larger bench, headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, gave this verdict on petitions seeking initiation of contempt cases against former premier Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders for criticizing the judiciary.

It had reserved the verdict earlier in the day after hearing arguments from the counsels for Pemra, the former premier and petitioners.

The bench directed the media regulatory body to ensure that no anti-judiciary content is aired on TV channels.

At the previous hearing, Advocate AK Dogar, the former premier’s lawyer, objected to inclusion of Justice Atir Mehmood on the bench, saying he had previously remained an office-bearer of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Justice Naqvi said every citizen has right to support any political party and clarified that Justice Mehmood never held any office in the Imran Khan-led party.

The counsel insisted it appeared that the bench has already made up its mind about the outcome of the case.

Justice Naqvi censured the lawyer, saying the court has yet not summoned him for presenting his arguments. The thrice elected premier has been criticizing the courts more than anybody else, he observed.

The LHC judge affirmed that the bench will dispense justice and decide the case as per law.

The petitioners submitted that Sharif and his daughter had been severely criticizing the judiciary in their public speeches.

They said the regulatory body had so far failed to take any action to stop the airing of the speeches despite high court orders in this regard.

The petitioners pleaded with the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Sharif and his daughter and restrain them from maligning the judiciary.



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