The Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday ordered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to stop airing ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N parliamentary members till it deliberates the maintainability of a case regarding the same.
LHC Justice Mamnoon Rasheed Sheikh, hearing a contempt of court petition filed by Amaan Welfare Foundation President Amina Malik, issued notices to Pemra Chairman Absar Alam and to the regulatory authority’s Council of Complaints (CoC) asking them to file a report regarding what the petitioner termed ‘anti-judiciary speeches’ made by the former premier and other PML-N parliamentarians in the past.
Pemra has been ordered to file the report by September 12, the date of the next hearing of the case.
The contempt of court petition was filed by Malik earlier this month against the former premier and 13 federal and provincial ministers of the ruling PML-N for their outburst against the Supreme Court following Nawaz’s disqualification in the Panamagate verdict.
The petitioner had asked the court to direct Pemra to stop “airing and telecasting the contemptuous, derogatory and defamatory speeches” allegedly made by Nawaz and PML-N ministers.
During Thursday’s hearing, Malik’s counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique argued that members of the parliament had made statements against the judiciary following the Panamagate verdict, maintaining that the statements were in contempt of court.
However, the government’s lawyer argued that the petition was based on allegations and, therefore, could not be heard by the high court.
After hearing the petitioner’s arguments in chambers, the judged ordered a temporary ban on the airing of the alleged “anti-judiciary statements” made by Nawaz, his brother Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, and 16 other members of parliament.