LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench on Thursday once again sought personal appearance of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to justify his anti-judiciary remarks he made while responding to observations of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar regarding minster’ involvement in appointment of vice chancellor at a women university.
Previously, the bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi had summoned minister for May 7 last, however, the minister could not appear before the court as he sustained injuries in a life attempt made on him in his constituency (Narowal) a day before the hearing.
The bench is hearing petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches by certain politicians including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and a rally staged by PML-N’s local leaders from Kasur against the judiciary. During the course of hearing, Justice Naqvi asked Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, counsel of Iqbal, as to when his client was going to appear before the court. The counsel stated that the minister for interior had gone to Saudi Arab for Umrah and would appear before the court on next hearing. The bench observed Iqbal had time to hold press conferences but no time to appear before the court. At this, Advocate Tarar assured the bench that the minister would appear on next hearing. The bench adjourned the matter till May 30.
Meanwhile, the bench sought prosecution witnesses in contempt of court proceedings against PML-N MNA Waseem Akhtar, MPA Naeem Safdar, municipal chairman Ayaz Khan, vice chairman Ahmad Latif, Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan. The bench adjourned this matter till May 29.
Earlier, Jamil Khan and Nasir Khan tendered their written unconditional apology while others opted to contest the proceedings against them. Their counsel asked the bench for the provision of the CDs of the rally’s videos and all other relevant material. The bench directed its staff to supply all the relevant record to the lawyers of the suspects.
The bench also gave more time to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (Pemra) to submit its reply on a civil miscellaneous application questioning alleged anti-judiciary speeches by Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz despite an order passed by the court. Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Ch Masood Jahangir are the other members of the full bench.
Meanwhile, a division bench of the Lahore High Court led by Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi On Thursday granted pre-arrest bail to MNA Waseem Akhtar, MPA Naeem Safdar and two others in a case of staging an anti-judiciary rally in Kasur. The other day, an anti-terrorism court had refused to extend interim bail previously granted to the suspects and withdrew the relief. The bench granted interim bail to the suspects till May 29 subject to surety bonds of Rs100,000 each and restrained the police from arresting them.