LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered the Interior Ministry to place names of six accused of taking out a rally against the judiciary in Kasur.

The accused included anMNA and an MPA of PML-N. A three-member full bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi was hearing the case.  Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir were the other members.  Police produced six accused including MNA Waseem Akhtar and MPA Naeem Safdar in the court.  DPO Kasur Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi also appeared before the court.

The bench asked the prosecution that why the charges against the accused did not include sections related to cyber crime. The court directed the Kasur DPO to look into the cases registered against the suspects and refer them to the Federal Investigation Agency if cyber crime section were applicable.  Last month, a video went viral on social media showing the accused and others taking rally in Kasur and hurling abuses at the judges of the superior judiciary and committing contempt of court.

Kasur police arrested case against over 80 persons out of which six were identified as members of the ruling party PML-N. The police booked them under Sections 166, 506, 341, 228 109, 147 and 149 of the PPC. Kasur District Bar Association President Mirza Naseem filed the petition submitting that the protest in Kasur was a planned conspiracy against the institution of judiciary. He alleged that the rally was led by PML-N’s MNA Waseem Sajjad and MPA Safdar Ansari  while some local leaders of the unions also accompanied them.

The bar leader said that by doing so, the protestors committed contempt of court and therefore they must be punished. He prayed to the court to declare the parliamentarian disqualified and proceed against them in accordance with the law.  The same bench had been hearing the petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N.  The bench was also seized with hearing of the petitions against MQM London Chief for his anti-state speeches.

The court adjourned further hearing until May 07. In an identical matter related to the anti-judiciary material on social media, the LHC issued notices to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Ministry for Information Technology to submit replies on the next hearing.  The full bench led by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi took up the matter. Abdullah Malik, Civil Society Network President, had moved the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique.

The petitioner said that anti-judiciary material available on social media was not being removed.

 He said it was the responsibility of the PTA and information ministry but they had done nothing to remove the contemptuous material from the social media. The petitioner’s counsel said that they approached the authorities concerned but they did not take any action. Such material, he said, was damaging the sanctity of the courts and state institutions. After hearing the initial arguments, the bench issued notices to PTA and the information technology ministry and adjourned the hearing until May 07.