Thursday December 02, 2021

Nawaz’s speeches: LHC summons Pemra official

February 20, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday summoned a responsible official of Pakistan Electronic Media regulatory Authority (Pemra) in connection with a petition against alleged contemptuous and anti-judiciary speeches of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz,

The petitioner’s counsel, Azhar Siddique, argued before the court that Nawaz had launched a vilification campaign against the state institutions after his disqualification in Panama Papers case by the Supreme Court. He said Maryam had also joined the campaign and launched into a tirade of criticism against the judiciary.

The counsel said the speeches being delivered by Nawaz and his daughter at public gatherings amounted to contempt of court and they were liable to be punished under the law. Siddique said the Pemra had failed to implement its code of conduct against airing of hate speeches and stuff containing defamation and contempt.

He argued that the apex judiciary had jurisdiction over all issues of judicial nature and exclusive authority to decide whether an issue was of political or non-political. He asked the court to order the Pemra to ban broadcasting of hate speeches by the respondents as it could lead to anarchy in the country.

Moreover, he said the act of the respondents was not only a contempt of court in view of Article 204 of the Constitution but also sedition. He also sought suspension of the licenses of television channels for airing hate material, hate speeches, derogatory remarks against the state institutions. Justice Shahid Karim heard the arguments and issued notice to the Pemra for February 23. The judge directed a federal law officer to ensure presence of a responsible officer from the authority on the next hearing.