LAHORE - LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Chief Justice on Wednesday for the third time formed a full bench for the third time for hearing of petitions seeking action against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N for their alleged contemptuous speeches against the judiciary.

The newly formed three-member bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi would resume the hearing today (Thursday). Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Jamil Khan would be the other members of the bench.

Earlier, two full benches stood dissolved; first time when a new roster was issued for the sitting of the judges at different benches of the Lahore High Court and the second time when Justice Shahid Mubeen recused himself from hearing of the case.

Munir Ahmad and other citizens had moved the petitions against former prime minister Nawz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N over their alleged anti-judiciary speeches.  The petitioners also alleged that Pemra was not fulfilling its obligations and contemptuous remarks against the judges of the superior courts and the judiciary were being broadcast on TVs. 

They said Pemra had intentionally been allowing broadcasting of such material on TVs.  Such act of Pemra was tantamount to contempt of courts and deserved the strict action, they said. 

The petitioners said Pemra has been failed to act as an independent regulator rather became a subordinate body of the government. They argue that the Pemra officials needed to realize that they are not working on the PML-N’s payroll and have to protect citizens of Pakistan and the institutions in every regard.

They prayed the court to order Pemra to bar media houses from airing anything against the laws and offensive to the state institutions.

Petition turned down

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday turned down a petition moved by Pakistan Pharmacists Association (PPA) challenging contractual appointments of pharmacists made by the Punjab government.

Justice Jawad Hassan passed the order dismissed the petition who upheld the appointments made by the provincial government.

Pakistan Pharmacists Association had moved the petition through Advocate Mansoor Usman Awan and argued that  the impugned recruitment process was totally illegal as the government was not empowered under the law to create such classes of pharmacists.

It said the government  did not fulfill the requirements under the law for appointments. The petitioner’s counsel said that the government authorities should have created specific posts for a specific time period but it was not done which was illegal and unlawful.

The petitioner counsel said the new appointments were against the contract appointment policy made in 2004 as the minimum contract period was fixed three years to five years.  He said but the government now was making appointment only for two years which was against that policy. He prayed to the court to set aside the new appointments of pharmacists made by the government.

Assistant Advocate General Ashfaq Ahmad Kharal, however, opposed the petition saying that it was not maintainable. He said the actual facts had been concealed from the court. He said the petitioner just wanted to blackmail the government as the government had adopted zero tolerance against the spurious drugs and malpractices.  The law officer said that all appointments were being made in accordance with the law.

After hearing both sides, Justice Hassan dismissed the petition and maintained the appointments of the new pharmacists on contract basis.