LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh on Monday accepted a petition to ban former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s anti-judiciary speeches and fixed the hearing for April 2, before a three-judge bench.
The petition, submitted by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery, stated that the rhetoric used by Nawaz Sharif in his speeches was in direct contempt of the court. The petition further stated that the transmission and publication of all such speeches should be banned, citing the example of the ban on broadcast of Altaf Hussain’s speeches.
Similarly, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on January 29, declared admissible a petition filed against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz over their anti-judiciary speeches.
Justice Amir Farooq conducted hearing on the plea of Adnan Iqbal who submitted that Nawaz and Maryam are spreading anarchy against the judiciary. He added 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 had said that the top court will take notice of the ousted premier’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.