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

Bad weather prevents Sharif, daughter from attending Avenfield hearing

The bench referred the petitions to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and gave it 15 days to remove anti-judiciary content as well as decide the complaints pending with it regarding the alleged contemptuous speeches.

On Monday, a larger bench of the LHC ordered Pemra to stop television channels from airing anti-judiciary speeches by Sharif, his daughter and other party leaders.

Maryam's counsel Amjad Pervez has resumed his 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.

When the court asked the regulatory body why it had dismissed the petitions, Pemra's counsel Salman Akram Raja said the allegations against the government agency were baseless. He pointed out that Article 68 even prevented Parliament from criticising the judiciary and its decisions.

"This is not a minor mistake", the bench replied. "Instead of taking action, PEMRA sought advice from the judiciary".

Noting that the notice did not prove the authority failed in its duties, Justice Jahangir stressed that it was not fulfilling its responsibilities.

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It added that the remarks caused stress to his client after which he expects no fair treatment at the hands of Justice Naqvi.

Reports say the meeting participants also shared views view on challenging the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.

Justice Naqvi had censured the lawyer, saying the court had yet not summoned him for presenting his arguments.

A petitioner, Amina Malik, told the court that Sharif, his daughter Maryam, son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, Interior Minister Talal Chaudhry and Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah verbally attacked the Supreme Court judges in a rally in Jaranwala (some 150-km from Lahore) for disqualifying Sharif from the office of prime minister.

"If they are not stopped they will continue attacking the judiciary, ? the petitioner said, requesting the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents under the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, read with Article 204 of the Constitution".

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