Anti-judiciary speeches

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Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken suo moto notice of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Daniyal Aziz’s anti-judiciary speeches. The court has summoned Aziz on February 7. Earlier, the apex court took notice of PML-N leader Talal Chaudhary’s speeches against judiciary and has summoned him February 6. Meanwhile the Supreme Court disqualified Senator Nehal Hashmi for five years and sent him to jail for a month for contempt of court. It also issued a notice to another PML-N hothead, State Minister Talal Chaudhry over unrelenting attacks at judiciary. Hashmi, who was also fined Rs50, 000 by the court, was found guilty of ridiculing and threatening judges and members of the joint investigation team that probed the Panama Papers case in a speech he delivered on May 28, 2017.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and including Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard the case against the ex-senator and gave a majority verdict, as Justice Dost abstained signing the judgment penned by Justice Khosa. He was disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of parliament for a period of five years from February 1, 2018, under Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution. Soon after the verdict, police took the ex-senator into custody and shifted him to Adiala Jail – a prison well-known for housing condemned politicians.

Hashmi is one of those PML-N leaders who went too far in criticising the court’s decision to disqualify ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif on July 28 last year in Panama case.

The video of Hashmi’s speech, wherein he issued grave threats to the Panama bench judges, the JIT and their families, had gone viral on social media and was also aired on news channels. On May 31, the apex court took notice of his threatening remarks, staring a trial that ran for eight months. PML-N leaders are constantly criticizing apex court’s verdict in Panama case and sometimes they are crossing all limits. There must be some limits while criticizing court’s verdicts. It was being expected that court may forgive Hashmi after seeking apology from the court. Supreme Court should take suo moto action in contempt cases across the board otherwise it will give impression that it is targeting a single political party. We hope the court will also take suo moto action on derogatory remarks made by head of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan Khadim Hussain Rizvi during Faizabad sit-in. No one should be allowed to make such offensive remarks against judiciary.

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