By Maryam Iraj
Minister for Interior and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, has been summoned by Lahore High Court on Wednesday to personally appear on May 7 to face the contempt of court charges.
Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi is in charge of a three-member bench hearing a contempt of court petition against the federal minister.
Azhar Siddique, the counsel for the petitioner Amna Malik, told the court that the federal minister, Ahsan Iqbal, used derogatory terms against Chief Justice of Pakistan while addressing a seminar in Islamabad on April 25. The comments are a clear and willful violation, and must be addressed as contempt of court.
In the footsteps of the disqualified Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N cronies, Ahsan Iqbal in a public gathering used a highly bitter diatribe against Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar for allegedly exceeding his authority.
While addressing the audience of a seminar, titled CPEC Five Years: A Story of Success and Opportunity, the minister said: “If a judge is patriot, so is a politician. Instead of chiding us or passing comments, I should be issued a charge sheet to respond to.”
The petitioner further claimed that in pursuance of LHC’s directives to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to stop the broadcast of defamatory speeches critical of the judiciary, this kind of talk and language must not be allowed on air.
Irrespective of the notice to PEMRA, Ahsan Iqbal gave an anti-judiciary speech degrading the honorable judge of the apex court. The petitioner pleaded to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Ahsan Iqbal.
PEMRA representative told the court that strict action is being taken against violating orders to broadcast the anti-judiciary speeches.
The court has been adjourned for further proceedings till May 7, and summoned Ahsan Iqbal to personally appear before the LHC in the next hearing.
The court had also summoned a detailed report over PEMRA’s efforts to stop broadcast of anti-judiciary speeches.