Home Global Village Islamabad High Court undertakes contempt of court petition against Nawaz, Maryam

Islamabad High Court undertakes contempt of court petition against Nawaz, Maryam

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) accepted a contempt of court petition against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on Monday for making derogatory remarks about the judiciary. The petitioner, Adnan Iqbal, claimed that Nawaz and Maryam had been inciting hatred against the judiciary since the Panamagate verdict, particularly in their speeches in Kot Momin on 6th January and their recent speeches in Punjab House.

The petitioner has also named Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) as one of the respondents in the case. The hearing of the case will start next week. The IHC has received multiple petitions against Nawaz Sharif and his daughter for contempt of court but they were not accepted.

While unnecessary use of the contempt of court article will lead to chaos and undermining of people’s mandate, it becomes necessary when an individual or a group is creating hurdles in the working of the courts, and putting undue pressure on it to give decisions.

Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the apex court on 28th July, 2017 under the Article 62(1)(f). The court declared that Nawaz Sharif failed to declare all his assets and ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file three graft references against him in the accountability court. Nawaz and his daughter Maryam have started a diatribe against the Supreme Court (SC) and its judges for allegedly disqualifying him on the basis of a salary that he didn’t receive.

On 7th January, Nawaz Sharif addressed a political gathering in Kot Momin. He relayed the story of an under trial suspect who after spending 26 years in prison was acquitted of all charges after he had died in prison. Nawaz compared himself to that suspect and challenged the authenticity of the court decision and declared that it was the right of the public to question court decisions. He threatened the SC court that he has a huge mandate and the public will not tolerate this insult.

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During the same political gathering, Maryam Nawaz, hinting towards the judiciary and the establishment, said that some conspirators were hiding under the umbrella of two institutions and attacked an elected prime minister. She declared the allegations used to disqualify Nawaz Sharif a mere ‘joke’. Maryam also boasted about the street power of PML-N, stating that the conspirators were frightened of the power of the people on the roads in support of Nawaz Sharif.

According to them, it is best to accept a decision, no matter how unjust than to start a war against the whole system, because in that war, the losers will always be the general public.

According to political experts, Nawaz Sharif has made repeated and relentless verbal attacks on the judiciary since his ouster in an attempt to pressurize the judiciary into reversing their decision. His efforts seem to have borne fruit since the SC has summoned Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tareen on 30th January for revising the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f). The political experts believe that Nawaz Sharif, being the head of the biggest democratic party in Pakistan, should be more responsible while passing remarks about the state institutions.

Public Relations experts are of the opinion that attacking the decisions of the court and adopting rhetoric against the judiciary has a really adverse effect on the opinions of the public. Criticism of court decisions is an integral part of every democratic society but starting a crusade against any state institution undermines the credibility of the institution and when a former prime minister criticizes the apex court of the country, it can prove disastrous for the future of democracy and the state.

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Contempt of court is an exclusive prerogative of the courts and can only be invoked on the order of the judiciary. Former prime minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani was disqualified on the charges of contempt of court but the SC has not invoked it in the case of Nawaz Sharif. Media analysts believe that one of the reasons for not invoking contempt of court for Nawaz is his public popularity and the possible clash of institutions that it might result in. The IHC has finally taken in a petition for contempt but the repercussions for Nawaz are not yet clear.

On 7th January, Nawaz Sharif addressed a political gathering in Kot Momin. He relayed the story of an under trial suspect who after spending 26 years in prison was acquitted of all charges after he had died in prison.

Historians believe that the three pillars of the state: executive, legislative and judiciary should not join hands to undermine the power of the other. There are numerous examples in history when two pillars of the state joined against the third, and it resulted in the collapse of the whole system and the eventual creation of a fascist state. According to them, it is best to accept a decision, no matter how unjust than to start a war against the whole system, because in that war, the losers will always be the general public.

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Legal experts state that contempt of court is subjective in terms of interpretation. While unnecessary use of the contempt of court article will lead to chaos and undermining of people’s mandate, it becomes necessary when an individual or a group is creating hurdles in the working of the courts, and putting undue pressure on it to give decisions. When such a situation arises, it is necessary to clamp down on the perpetrators to steady the flow of justice. 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Bastards how much more do you want to loot the country, your gonna die one day and are you gonna take it with you, for fucks sake. Fear god

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