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New LHC bench formed to hear contempt petitions against Sharifs

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Chief Justice on Wednesday constituted a third larger bench to hear petitions seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders for criticizing the judiciary.

The three-judge bench, headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Shahid Jameel Khan and Justice Atir Mehmood, will hear the petitions on April 05.

A day earlier, a larger bench formed to hear and decide the petitions against the ruling family was dissolved after a judge recused himself from hearing the case.

Justice Shahid Mobeen declined to proceed with the matter, dissolving the three-judge bench of the high court.

Last week, LHC Chief Justice Yawar Ali formed a new full bench, headed by Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Shahid Mobeen and Justice Aatir Mehmood, after Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan was transferred to the Multan bench.

The three-judge bench was formed to hear the petitions involving anti-judiciary speeches of the PML-N supreme leader and his daughter.

Earlier, the court had issued a notice to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to submit comments, explaining the measures it has taken to stop the airing of anti-judiciary speeches by the duo.

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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