The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday sentenced four people, including a former MNA, to one month in prison for contempt of court and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on each of the convicts.
Kasur police had booked over 80 people ─ six of whom were identified as members of the ruling PML-N ─ after parliamentarians and local government leaders on April 13 took out a protest rally against the apex court verdict on the lifetime disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, and used expletives against the judiciary.
They were booked under Sections 166, 506, 341, 228 109, 147 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal code, and later Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 was also added to the case.
Kasur District Bar Association President Mirza Naseem and others had petitioned the court saying that the rally was a planned conspiracy against the judiciary. The petitioners prayed that the actions of the respondents amounted to contempt of court and they were all liable to be punished under the law. They asked the court to also declare the respondents disqualified.
A full bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, indicted two PML-N parliamentarians and four others in the case. Shaikh Waseem, former MPA Naeem Safdar, municipal chairman Haji Ayaz Ahmed, vice-chairman Ahmad Latif, and Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan had denied the charges.
All six had already issued oral apologies in the last hearing of the case.
Today, Waseem, Latif, Nasir and Jamil were convicted for leading the anti-judiciary rally and fine Rs100,000 each, while Safdar and Ayaz were acquitted.
The convicts were arrested outside the court.
A number of PML-N leaders have faced contempt of court proceedings since the party stepped up its criticism of the judiciary in the aftermath of last year's Panamagate verdict.
Senior party leader Daniyal Aziz was yesterday found guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court and sentenced till the rising of the court, effectively disqualifying him from contesting elections for five years.
Earlier this year, PML-N loyalist Nehal Hashmi was also found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to one month in prison. A second contempt notice was issued against him after his release from prison, but the apex court accepted his written unconditional apology.