LHC Orders PEMRA To Prevent Broadcast Of Statements Against Judiciary
The Lahore High Court on the 24th of August 2017 ordered Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to prevent the broadcast of ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches by the former Prime Minister and other PML-N Parliamentary members till the court determines the maintainability of a case regarding the issue.
Lahore High Court Justice Mamnoon Rasheed, while hearing a contempt of court petition filed by the President of the Amaan Welfare Foundation, issued several notices to the PEMRA Chair and to the regulatory authority’s Council of Complaints asking them to file a report regarding what the petitioner termed ‘anti-judiciary speeches’ made by the former Prime Minister and other PML-N Parliamentarians.
PEMRA has been ordered to file the report by the date of the next hearing of the case.
The contempt of court petition was filed earlier this month against the former Prime Minister and thirteen (13) Federal as well as Provincial Ministers of the ruling PML-N party for their outburst against the Supreme Court following the Panama Case verdict.
During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel argued that Members of Parliament have made statements against the judiciary following the Panama Case verdict, maintaining that the statements were in contempt of court.
On his homeward journey, the former Prime Minister addressed the public in a number of cities. The content of these speeches has been seen in some quarters as being critical of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
However, the government’s lawyer took the position that the petition is based on allegations, hence could not be heard by the High Court.
After hearing the arguments, the judge ordered PEMRA to ensure, while operating within the law, that no “anti-judiciary statements” made by the former Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, the Minister for Railways, and sixteen (16) other members of Parliament are aired on media.