Pak court bans airing of Sharifs anti-judiciary speeches for 15 days

  • Pak court bans airing of Sharifs anti-judiciary speeches for 15 days

Pak court bans airing of Sharifs anti-judiciary speeches for 15 days

"It is part of the code of conduct that a (judicial) matter can not be discussed until the court takes the final decision; however, news channels have been crossing the limit by broadcasting talk shows on such cases", said Chudhry Khadim Huddain, editor of a national daily.

A three-judge bench of the Lahore High Court (HC) was hearing petitions against alleged contemptuous speeches by PML-N leaders since Sharif was ousted from office in a graft case July 28, 2017. "A person dissatisfied at a verdict should file a review petition", he said.

"PEMRA has also been directed by the LHC to strictly monitor TV channels with regard to airing any anti-judiciary speeches/remarks and submit a report after 15 days", a court official told PTI.

In January, the Islamabad High Court had accepted a contempt of court petition against Sharif and his daughter Maryam for making speeches critical of the judiciary.

Justice Naqvi remarked that while Article 19 of the Constitution allowed fair criticism of judiciary, not every person should be allowed to criticise it just for the sake of exercising their right to criticise.

According to ARY News, as Judge Muhammad Bashir commenced proceedings, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) supremo's lawyer informed the court that they couldn't make it to Islamabad from Lahore owing to rough skies.

Stressing that his client was being subjected to baseless criticism, PEMRA counsel Salman Akram Raja said the authority had used its powers to decide on the anti-judiciary remarks issue. The bench, however, dismissed the defence counsel's reservations.

The court said that the petition was dismissed by PEMRA on technical grounds and this gave an impression that permission was granted to air anti-judiciary speeches.

"This is not a minor mistake", the bench replied.

"This is not a minor mistake", the bench observed. "PEMRA may have made a minor error [of judgment] by rejecting the application", the counsel responded. "Instead of taking action, PEMRA sought advice from judiciary".

Maryam's counsel Amjad Pervez resumed cross-examination of Wajid Zia, an additional director at the Federal Investigation Agency who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family's assets a year ago.

The third accused, Nawaz's son-in-law MNA Muhammad Safdar, was present in court.