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Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday took suo motu notice of an "anti-judiciary" speech made by PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz.

The court, in its notice, did not specify which speech by the PML-N leader had caught the judges' attention.

Aziz has been asked to appear before the court on February 7 to face contempt of court proceedings.

It is pertinent to mention that following last year's Panama Papers judgement in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, members of the ruling party, including Aziz — on a number of occasions — have launched unprecedented verbal attacks on the country’s judiciary, accusing it of having different standards for the former prime minister than for his opponents.

On December 20, a few days after the SC had cleared Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan in a disqualification case, Aziz, on the floor of the National Assembly had recounted the entire history of the Panama Papers case and questioned the way the courts had conducted the matter.

Stopping just short of blaming Nawaz's ouster in the Panama Papers case on a ‘grand conspiracy’, he had recalled how the Jamaat-i-Islami had filed a petition naming all 450 Pakistanis mentioned in the Panama Papers with the SC, which was declared frivolous and rejected.

“Imran Khan then filed a copycat petition, containing just Nawaz Sharif’s name. That too was thrown out,” he had said, adding that the PTI then staged a ‘failed lockdown’ of Islamabad to put pressure on the court. "But rather than sticking to its decision, the court changed its mind and took up the cases that were earlier thrown out."

Held in contempt

On Thursday, the SC found Senator Nehal Hashmi guilty of committing contempt of court. The court sentenced him to one-month imprisonment, barred him from holding public office for the next five years, and imposed a fine of Rs50,000.

In May 2017, as a Supreme Court-mandated joint investigation team was probing the Sharif family's business dealings in the Panama Papers case, Hashmi had warned that those conducting the investigation would be "taken to task" for grilling the premier's family. The video of Hashmi's remarks had gone viral on social media and was also aired on news channels.

Also on Thursday, the chief justice had taken suo motu notice of "contemptuous speeches" made by PML-N leader and state minister Talal Chaudhry.

During his speech at PML-N's rally in Jarranwala last week, Chaudhry had said: "There was an era when the Kaabah was full of idols. Today, the judiciary, which is the country's highest institution, is also full of PCO [Provisional Constitution Order] idols."

"Mian Nawaz Sharif, throw them out, throw him out of the court. They will not give justice but will continue their injustices."

The Lahore High Court has already served notices to Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Rana Sanaullah in a contempt of court petition regarding the same gathering.