LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered on Monday slapped a temporary ban on the airing of contemptuous speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders.
Giving the decision on over two dozen petitions filed against ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches by Nawaz, Maryam, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other party leaders, the court ordered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to decide on the petitions in 15 days and until that time refrain from airing any contemptuous remarks.
Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi, who headed a three-member full bench, also ruled that the court will personally monitor PEMRA’s conduct in the next two weeks to see how it implements the court’s order.
More than a dozen petitions had been filed in the LHC contending that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership had been making derogatory speeches against Supreme Court judges since the verdict of Nawaz’s disqualification in the Panama Papers case last year. The petitions, which seek a ban on the anti-judiciary speeches, will now be decided by PEMRA.
Following the Panama Papers verdict which led to Sharif’s disqualification as premier, Sharif and other PML-N leaders have drawn ire for their criticism of the judiciary.
Multiple petitions have been filed in different courts against them over alleged contempt of court. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and federal and provincial ministers of the PML-N have also been made respondents in the petitions.
In January, the Islamabad High Court had accepted a contempt of court petition against Sharif and his daughter Maryam for making speeches critical of the judiciary.
The Supreme Court, however, dismissed multiple contempt of court petitions against the ousted prime minister last month. INP/Agencies