LAHORE - Punjab police on Monday informed the Lahore High Court that names of the alleged contemnor parliamentarians belonging to the ruling PML-N had been put on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Kasur DPO Zahid Nawaz Marwat appeared before the full bench of the Lahore High Court led by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and said that names of the alleged contemnors had been placed on the ECL in compliance with the court orders.  Police also produced the suspects, including MNA Waseem Akhtar, MPA Naeem Safdar, Kasur Municipality Chairman Ayaz Khan, Vice Chairman Ahmad Latif, Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan before the court.

The court directed the police to present record of the CDs at the next hearing and put off further proceedings until May 9. The court also adjourned till May 23 the hearing of a petition against Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal over his alleged contemptuous speech.

The same bench had been taking up the petitions against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N over alleged anti-judiciary speeches. The petitions against the MQM London chief for his anti-state speeches had also been fixed before the same bench.

Previously, the bench had ordered the Interior Ministry to place the names of six accused persons, including MNA Waseem Akhtar and MPA Naeem Safdar, on ECL over charges of taking out a rally against the institution of judiciary and making statements against it in Kasur district.  In April, a video went viral on social media showing the accused persons taking out a rally in Kasur and hurling abuses at the judges of the superior judiciary and committing contempt of court. Kasur police registered a case against 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 MNA Waseem Sajjad and MPA Safdar Ansari while some local leaders of unions also accompanied them.  The bar leader said that by doing so, the protesters 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.

In an identical matter related to the anti-judiciary material on social media, the LHC again issued notices to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Ministry for Information Technology to submit replies on May 9. The full bench led by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi took up the matter. Social activist Abdullah Malik had moved the petition. 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 sanctity of the courts and state institutions.