LHC issues contempt of court notice to PU academic for losing calm


The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued a contempt of court notice to a Punjab University (PU) teacher besides ordering her arrest for protesting during a hearing despite repeated warnings from the judges to maintain decorum.

A five-member larger bench of the LHC headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi was hearing a petition filed by PU academic Dr Nayab against an application filed by a colleague Khujista Rehan, with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

According to the details, Khujista, who is affiliated with PU’s law college, had accused 14 university officials including Dr Nayab of using defamatory words against her and spreading slanderous material against her on social media.

On Tuesday’s hearing, Dr Nayab’s lawyer argued that the FIA did not have the authority to carry out disciplinary proceedings against suspects while recalling that a single-judge bench of the LHC had previously stopped FIA from taking disciplinary action against Dr Nayab through a stay order — on a petition filed by the academic.

At this, Khujista, who was present at the larger bench’s hearing of Dr Nayab’s petition, complained loudly that the court had issued a stay order to FIA without hearing her stance.

The judges told Khujista to calm down and informed her that she would be given a chance to speak, but the academic said she did not have confidence in the full bench and even accused a judge of giving “inappropriate” remarks against her in an open court.

She also said she would approach the president of Pakistan and Supreme Judicial Council to file complaints against the head of the bench.

When she failed to stop her protest despite repeated warnings, the bench warned the teacher that she was crossing her limits and committing contempt of court.

The bench subsequently issued a contempt of court notice to the academic and ordered her arrest.

Khujista was then arrested by police from inside the courtroom. Although she was released in a few hours, she was directed to submit a reply to the contempt of court notice.