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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court told on Thursday the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to decide complaints pending with it about alleged contemptuous speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and other leaders.

Justice Shahid Karim was hearing a petition about the speeches of the Sharif family and the failure of Pemra to stop their broadcasting.

Earlier, counsel for Pemra stated a meeting under court’s order had been fixed for March 13 to take a decision on the complaints. He said the decision would be submitted to the court.

Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar appeared on behalf of Nawaz and challenged the maintainability of the petition. He said an identical matter was already pending before the Supreme Court. He requested the court to adjourn hearing for a date after March 23 as the former PM was scheduled to fly abroad.

However, the judge turned down the request and directed the Pemra counsel to submit the report on March 15.

Petitioner Amina Malik pleaded that Mr Sharif started a vilification campaign against the state institutions since his disqualification in Panama case. Her lawyer said Maryam also joined the campaign of her father and launched criticism against the judiciary.

The counsel said the speeches delivered by the respondents amounted to contempt of court and they were liable to be punished under the law. He said the former PM and his daughter were trying to scandalise the judges. The respondents seriously marked scratches on the integrity of judges, which also amounted to committing sedition against the state.

He said the Pemra failed to implement its code of conduct against airing of hate speeches and stuff containing defamation and contempt.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018