Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court Thursday re-issued notices to Secretary Information and Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority in a petition seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly criticising the superior judiciary of the country.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted the hearing in this matter and re-issued notices to both the respondents. In this matter, the Press Council of Pakistan has submitted its reply.

After issuing the notices, the court deferred the hearing till May 9 for further proceedings.

Earlier, Justice Aamer observed in his verdict while admitting the petition for regular hearing: “Instant petition has been filed under Article 204(2b) of the Constitution for initiation of contempt proceedings against respondent No 1 (Nawaz Sharif) whereas prayer has been sought against respondents No 2, and 4 for directing them to ensure compliance of Code of Conduct.” The bench added: “The petitioner shall assist the court, whether direction can be issued in the contempt proceedings? Office is directed to obtain report from respondent No 2 to 4.

The petitioner Makhdoom Niaz Inqalabi moved this petition in person and made former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Secretary Ministry of Information, Press Council of Pakistan and Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) as respondents.

In his petition, he prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the former Prime Minister under article 204 (2b) of the constitution that reads “A court shall have power to punish any person who (a) abuses, interferes with or obstruct the process of the court in any way or (b) scandalise the court or otherwise does anything which tends to bring the Court or a judge of the Court into hatred, ridicule or contempt.”

He maintained in his petition that on February 15, Nawaz Sharif while talking to the media had said: “the judges are committing contempt of their own position and stature. PCO judges should not teach us lessons of morality and ethics. If Chief Justice uses the same language that Imran Khan uses against us then there is no difference between the two. These people are after my Presidency and I do not accept such decisions.”

He contended that all these statements fall under the contempt of court law and to scandalise the courts.

These statements were live telecasted on TV channels and published in the newspapers.

Therefore, he requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the former Prime Minister and to direct PEMRA not to telecast his speeches.