LHC seeks assistance in petition against Maryam

LAHORE (Agencies): The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Justice Shujaat Ali Khan has sought the assistance of a petitioner’s lawyer by March 1 on how a case containing contemptuous remarks against Supreme Court judges could be heard in the LHC.
Justice Shujaat heard the plea seeking contempt proceedings against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz over allegedly making contemptuous remarks six times during her speech at a convention at Sargodha.
As proceedings commenced, the petitioner’s lawyer advocate Rana Shahid shed light on the contemptuous remarks made by Maryam Nawaz. He argued that others such as Joe Biden and Bill Clinton did not use such language, which means “this practice does not exist in civilised societies”. However, most Pakistani leaders hurl blame at judges and commit contemptuous remarks.
When asked under which article the petition was filed, the counsel told the court that it was filed under Article 204, adding that any person who commits contempt could be charged with six months imprisonment and imposed a fine of up to Rs100,000. Further, Justice Shujaat asked against whom the contempt was committed. Directing the lawyer to read sub-clause 2 of Article 187, the judge asked how this case falls under the LHC’s jurisdiction.
“This matter contains the contemptuous remarks about the judges of the superior court,” the judge noted, questioning how the high court could hear this matter. Advocate Rana Shahid responded that Maryam Nawaz had also committed contempt by scandalising the LHC’s judges who were hearing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s protective bail.
“Do you have any judgment in your support?” Justice Shujaat asked. The counsel requested the court to adjourn the case, assuring he would return with supporting court judgments. The court adjourned proceedings till March 1. Petitioner Muhammad Shahid in his petition implored the court that on February 23, 2023, Maryam Nawaz delivered a speech that was telecasted on most local television channels.
Former AGP writes to CJP for action over Maryam ‘scandalous speech’: Former Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan has written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, seeking action against Maryam Nawaz for scandalising courts and personalised criticism of judges”.
The senior advocate, in his letter, referred to a speech made by the PML-N leader on Feb 23 in Sargodha where she came hard on the former serving judges of the Supreme Court for allegedly conspiring against his father Nawaz Sharif.
The letter starts as, “It is very unusual for me to write such letters but as a very senior counsel/advocate, considering myself a part of the judicial system and administration of justice, I feel it my duty to place before you the fact that occurred on 23rd of February, 2023 at Sargodha. Our judiciary is our pride and honour, which we are bound to protect, wherefore I am compelled to pen this letter”.
Saying he had no grudge nor any personal enmity against Maryam Nawaz, the former AGP said the PML-N leader made Feb 23 speech “with a view to rouse their sentiments against the judges and the Supreme Court purposely, with obvious motivated intent, with a view to criticize and bring the Supreme Court as also individual judges to disrepute, with improper motives and imputing them without authority, proof or document, amounts to scandalizing the court as also the judges through personal criticism”.
He said the criticism of judges and courts came at the stage when the suo moto case regarding the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was being heard by the nine-member bench – now split into five-member bench. He said the two judges, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyad Mazahar Akbar Naqvi, who were a part the bench, were criticised by Maryam.
He said the “purposive act of Maryam, shows a clear intent, which amounts to or has the effect of obstructing the administration of justice. Such actions on part of any public figure, is in fact an attack on the judiciary and its independence”. He also talked about leaked audiotapes of judges, saying these were spread without authenticity, adding that making allegations without credible proof warranted an action.