The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday summoned Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for his alleged “anti-judiciary speeches”.
The decision to call Iqbal to court was taken during a hearing on a petition against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders over alleged anti-judiciary tirades.
Petitioner Advocate Azhar Siddique said in his application that Iqbal’s speeches also fall into the category of anti-judiciary rhetoric.
“The law does not wish to fine [people that make anti-judiciary remarks], it seeks to stop these speeches,” the petitioner said.
During the hearing, Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi asked which political leaders had made anti-judiciary speeches since the last hearing of the case.
In the last hearing of the case on April 12, Justice Naqvi had questioned the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) repeated failure to exercise its suo motu powers to stop tirades against the state institution.
Siddique replied that the interior minister had made such speeches.
Upon hearing this, the judge ordered Iqbal to present himself in court in the next hearing of the case, and setting May 7 as the date of the hearing.
A larger LHC bench was formed on Justice Naqvi’s request to wrap up all pending petitions against PML-N leaders for their alleged anti-judiciary tirades.
Addressing a public event in Islamabad on 25 April, the interior minister went hard against the honorable CJP saying that the chief justice does not have the right to taunt us, as we have also like him served the Country.
“If the Chief Justice has the respect so do we!” asserted the minister, also adding that if he has any proofs against him then the top judge must bring forward the charge sheet.
“We have the same respect like a soldier or a judge enjoys”, also regretting the norm that the entire political class is blamed if some indulge in the dirty work.
“The norm here applies that if one is bad so the rest is and the vice versa”, he regretted, without elaborating further.