LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench on Monday issued notices to former prime ministers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif, seeking action against the latter for trying to defame state institutions and the former for not honouring his oath of office by disclosing minutes of the National Security Council’s meeting to his party leader.
As the bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi resumed hearing, Advocate Azhar Siddique argued on behalf of the petitioner that the disqualified premier on May 11, 2018, during his interview to an English newspaper said: “Those who attacked a hotel in Mumbai actually belonged to Pakistan.”
He said the “anti-state” statement of Mr Sharif, a three times prime minister of Pakistan, could be used against the country by its enemies. He said a meeting of the NSC was held to discuss the ‘misleading’ media statement of the disqualified PM and after the meeting then prime minister Abbasi met Mr Sharif and conveyed to him the concerns of the military leadership and minutes of the meeting.
He said the act of the former prime minister was a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct.
The counsel pleaded the disqualified premier committed sedition by rejecting the NSC statement and was liable for the action as directed by the Constitution as well as in PPC.
He asked the court to take stern action against Nawaz for trying to defame the state and state institutions through his anti-state interviews and also against Pemra for allowing broadcasting of the stuff.
He further sought action against Mr Abbasi for violating his oath by disclosing the minutes of NSC meeting and other details to the disqualified ex-prime minister (Nawaz).
The bench issued notices to Mr Abbasi, Mr Sharif and also journalist Cyril Almeida, who published the interview of the former prime minister. Hearing was adjourned till June 29.
KASUR RALLY: The full bench also reserved verdict on contempt of court proceedings against two former parliamentarians of the PML-N and four others involved in staging an anti-judiciary rally in Kasur.
Earlier, lawyers of the contemnors challenged the investigation of the prosecution on merit and also tendered unconditional apology before the court.
The contemnors, including ex-MNA Waseem Akhtar and ex-MPA Naeem Safdar, former municipal chairman Ayaz Khan, vice-chairman Ahmad Latif, Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan, were also present in the court.
Kasur District Bar Association President Mirza Naseem and others had filed the petitions, pleading that the rally held by the parliamentarians and local government leaders affiliated with the ruling PML-N was a planned conspiracy against the institution of the judiciary.
The petitioners said the act of the respondents amounted to committing contempt of court and they were all liable to be punished under the law. They asked the court to also declare the respondents disqualified, besides initiating contempt proceedings against them.
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2018