Anti-judiciary speeches: SC issues notice to Nawaz, Maryam

Former PM Nawaz and Maryam outside the accountability court in Islamabad

Former PM Nawaz and Maryam outside the accountability court in Islamabad

The court instructed PEMRA to decide on all complaints regarding the broadcast of anti-judiciary remarks by Sharif and his daughter within 15 days, and to ensure that such content is not broadcast by anyone.

The accused including former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar also appeared before the court.

Maryam's counsel in the case resumed cross-examination of prosecution witness Wajid Zia, the head of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the Sharif family's offshore assets.

PEMRA's counsel told that the authority gave a verdict but the judge said that the petition was later dismissed by PEMRA on technical grounds.

They said the regulatory body had so far failed to take any action to stop the airing of the speeches despite high court orders in this regard.

Nawaz Sharif's lawyer said that PEMRA is bound to follow its code of conduct and that Supreme Court (SC) had not taken any notice of this issue.

He drew the attention to Article 68, saying it even prevented the Parliament from criticising the judiciary and its decisions.

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"This is not a minor mistake", the bench replied. However, the bench rejected his application to reconstitute the bench after exclusion of Justice Naqvi.

"So the court's decision is correct, but it will still be hard to implement".

Justice Naqvi had said every citizen has right to support any political party and clarified that Justice Mehmood never held any office in the Imran Khan-led party.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, summoned a copy of the LHC judgement.

The petitioners submitted that Sharif and his daughter had been severely criticizing the judiciary in their public speeches.

"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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