LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Monday directed all television channels of the country not to broadcast any contemptuous and ridicules material against the judiciary and judges.Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, in his interim order, directed the Pakistan Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure the ban on airing such TV programs, press conferences and interviews in which guests including politicians were levelling allegations on judges or criticizing judiciary. Shumail Paracha Advocate has filed the petition through his counsel Azhar Siddique seeking directions to authorities concerned to take action against persons involved in broadcasting of anti-judiciary material and criticizing the judges of superior courts.Advancing arguments, Mr Siddique said that suspending, forcibly removing or compelling the judges to resign through a coordinated, planned and nasty media campaign was totally unconstitutional, illegal and an attempt to ruin the institution of judiciary.Few months ago, a property magnate Malik Riaz had started a slanderous media campaign against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary and then other judges also, the counsel said adding that two senior journalists had disclosed in different TV programs that the anti-judiciary elements with support of government functionaries had chalked out another plan of media campaign to defame the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP). He said a criticism made to lower the dignity of judiciary and destroy public confidence couldn’t be ignored. The administration of justice was the foundation of the rule of law and if there were no course or adjudication bodies, the rule of law couldn’t be enforced, the counsel added. He pointed out the PEMRA should immediately issue a written direction to all national news broadcasters that they must not broadcast any interview or press conference that may contain any defamatory material or statement against any member of the superior judiciary in view of the jurisdiction assign to this regulatory authority and as well as to enforce the constitutional provisions especially Article 2-A, 4, 5, 9, 14, 25, 204 and 209 of the Constitution. He said PEMRA should suspend the license of any national news broadcaster that violates authority’s directions in this regard. He argued that the PPP leaders including Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, Sharjeel Memon, Raja Riaz, Shokat Basra and others stood disqualified under Article 63(1g) and 62(1f) because they had ridiculed the judges and judiciary in various TV programs. He pointed out the cases under Section 499 of PPC should be registered against any person who, instead of following the prescribed mechanism laid down in the Constitution, commits the offence of defamation against judges.The counsel requested the court to restrain all country’s news television channels from airing any defamatory material against judges of superior courts including the CJP.Justice Sheikh heard initial arguments and issued an interim stay order restraining TV Channels not to broadcast contemptuous material against judges during programs, press conferences and interviews.The court has also summoned attorney general of Pakistan and advocate general of Punjab on Nov 05 for court’s assistance.