Petition filed in LHC against anti-judiciary speeches of PML-N leaders

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LAHORE: A petition has been submitted in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday against the anti-judiciary speeches delivered by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Talal Chaudhry and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.

The petitioner submitted that the ruling party leaders were slandering the judiciary in their regular speeches and pleaded for the court’s injunctions against PML-N leaders and initiation of contempt proceedings against them.

The petitioner also seeks the court’s directives to PEMRA for stopping news channels from airing their speeches targeting the judiciary.

The petition in LHC comes at the heels of an Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision on Monday where it declared admissible the petition filed against ex-prime minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on their anti-judiciary speeches.

Justice Amir Farooq conducted hearing on the plea of Adnan Iqbal during which, the plaintiff said that Nawaz and Maryam are spreading anarchy against courts, adding that their speeches come under contempt of court, therefore they should be tried under the relevant laws.

Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday said that the top court will take notice of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif’s anti-judiciary speeches at an “appropriate” time.

The CJP expressed these views in response to a journalist’s query of why the SC is not taking notice of Nawaz’s speeches during the hearing of the suo motu case of eight-year-old Zainab’s rape and murder in Kasur.

“There is a proper time to take action in any matter,” remarked the CJP. He also said that they are not showing restraint, but will take notice in the matter at an ‘appropriate’ time.

“When we will decide to take notice no power in the world can force us to stop,” the CJP concluded.

On January 20, Mian Saqib Nisar had said that the courts have seldom tried people for contempt [of the court] despite so much criticism against the judiciary.

In December last year, the CJP had asked those criticising the courts to “not malign the judiciary if the verdict is against them”, also clarifying that the judges were not taking “dictation” from anyone.

In December last year, ousted premier Nawaz Sharif announced a campaign against what he called the “double standards” of the judiciary.

Nawaz Sharif announced the anti-judiciary drive after the top court gave a clean chit to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan but disqualified general secretary Jahangir Tareen on constitutional petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.