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LHC constituted full bench to hear petitions against Nawaz Sharif and family

20 March, 2018

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali on Monday constituted a three-judge full bench to hear petitions against anti-judiciary speeches by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi will head the bench which has Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan as its other members. Proceedings are set to start on April 2.

However, one of the petitioners’ counsel Azhar Siddique on Monday filed an application for early hearing of the case. The application will be heard by a single bench on Tuesday (today).

Previously, Justice Naqvi as a single bench had summoned the Pakistan Electronic Media Regula­tory Authority (Pemra) secretary, while hearing a petition against the anti-judiciary speeches by the former premier and other leaders of his party.

The judge had also requested the chief justice to constitute a larger bench to decide the matter after he came to know that several identical petitions were pending adjudication before other benches.

The petitioners mainly contended that the PML-N leadership had been making derogatory speeches against Supreme Court judges since the verdict of Mr Sharif’s disqualification in the Panama Papers case.

They said Pemra had been wilfully allowing broadcasting of hate speeches, defamatory and contemptuous remarks on television channels as it took no action to enforce its code of conduct and rules.

They stated that Pemra had failed to act as an independent regulator, rather it became a subordinate body of the government.

He said Pemra officials needed to realise that they were not working on the PML-N’s payroll and had to protect the citizens of Pakistan and the institutions in every regard.

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