LHC issues contempt notices to Nawaz, Maryam, Talal and Daniyal

* Court seeks reply from respondents * Case to be heard on February 14 along with main petition

LAHORE: Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a contempt of court application against disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry and Privatisation Minister Danyal Aziz.

The judge sought reply from respondents and ordered to fix the application for hearing on February 14 along with the main petition.

Civil society activist Amna Malik has filed the application. Applicant’s counsel Azhar Siddique submitted that all the respondents were continuously attacking the judges of Supreme Court. He said Nawaz Sharif as well as other leaders of the PML-N were trying to discredit the superior judiciary. He said that the applicant had continuously pointed out and highlighted the contemptuous remarks by disqualified former prime minister and others which also went on air through some media channels but PEMRA never took action against those propagating and misreporting the judicial proceedings. He said that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam, Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz had criticised Supreme Court judges and their Panama verdict on February 4 at a public gathering in Peshawar.

The counsel contended that all the accused had committed sedition and waged war against the institution of judiciary.

He said that the role of PEMRA is to regulate media channels and to make sure that no such content goes on air which is against the state institutions, state’s integrity and state’s sovereignty.

He requested that directions should be issued to the PEMRA to ban hate speeches by Nawaz Sharif and others as it could create anarchy in the country and also attract contempt of court proceedings in view of Article 204 of the constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

He also requested that licences of the channels which broadcast hate material, hate speeches, derogatory remarks against state institutions like judiciary, be suspended in the best interest of the country.

Published in Daily Times, February 8th 2018.