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Pakistan

Web Desk
April 17, 2018
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CJP clarifies LHC did not bar speeches of any political leader

ISLAMABAD: Lahore High Court (LHC) did not bar ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other political leaders, from making speeches, clarified Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

The Chief Justice on Tuesday took suo motu notice of Lahore High Court order to ban transmission of anti-judiciary speeches of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

The apex court had issued notices to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and also sought the record of the LHC order after taking sou moto notice.

During the hearing of the suo moto, the Supreme Court was annoyed at the media coverage of the LHC order. The court cannot curtail fundamental rights of any person, the court observed.

He said false impression was made that through this order the right to freedom of speech of the said persons was infringed.

The Chief Justice said courts are the custodians of fundamental rights and can never curtail them.

Justice Saqib Nisar remarked nowhere does the LHC order mention that Nawaz and Maryam’s speeches have been banned.

According to Geo News, the bench observed that the high court has only ordered the regulatory body PEMRA to enforce the law.

Giving the decision on over two dozen petitions filed against the ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches uttered by party leaders, the LHC bench — headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir — had ordered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday to decide on the complaints pending with it regarding the alleged contemptuous speeches within 15 days and until that time abstain from airing any contemptuous remarks or speeches.

On Tuesday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said he was seeing widespread chaos in the country if people's voice were not heeded.

Speaking to media, he said the world was changing and "we too will have to change" while avoiding old mistakes.

In a reference to Lahore High Court's orders to PEMRA against airing his speeches, he said "We will win no matter how much restrictions are placed".

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