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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday formed a third bench to hear petitions pertaining to contempt of court, filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders.

The bench — headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Shahid Jameel Khan and Justice Atir Mehmood — will hear the petitions on April 6. Justice Jameel replaced Justice Shahid Mubeen, who excused himself due to "personal reasons".

Last week, the LHC chief justice had formed a full bench for the second time after Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan was transferred to the Multan bench and was replaced by Justice Mubeen. The second bench comprised Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi — who was heading the bench — Justice Atir Mehmood and Justice Mubeen to hear petitions filed against "anti-judiciary speeches" by Nawaz, Maryam, and other party leaders.

However, the case was delayed once again after Justice Mubeen stepped down from the bench while citing personal reasons.

The petitions filed by Advocate Azhar Siddiq on behalf of civilians Amna Malik and Muneer Ahmed accuse the former premier, his daughter, and followers of attacking the judiciary in their public addresses. The petitions also regretted that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) was not taking any steps to take the speeches off air.

The petitioners appealed the court to charge the Sharifs and other PML-N leaders with contempt of court and order Pemra not to air the speeches of the deposed prime minister or his followers.