LAHORE - The Lahore High Court chief justice Monday constituted a full bench to hear several petitions seeking action against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N for allegedly delivering anti-judiciary speeches.

Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi would head the full bench while Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan would be its members. The bench would start its proceedings on April 2.

Justice Naqvi last week had asked the chief justice to constitute a full bench to hear the petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches and sent all petitions to the bench.

He had also expressed serious concerns over speeches of the leaders of the ruling party and summoned secretary of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to submit reply within seven days.

Munir Ahmad, a local citizen, had moved the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique and argued that PML-N leaders had been delivering anti-judiciary speeches since disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers case on July 28.

He submitted that Pemra had intentionally been allowing broadcast of hate speeches and contemptuous remarks on television channels and it did not play its role to stop coverage of such speeches.

The counsel said that disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif was now an ordinary citizen as he neither held any public office nor was he a member of any political party in light of the disqualification judgement.

He argued that Nawaz Sharif and other leaders of the ruling party had been trying to prove the Supreme Court’s judgement wrong and prejudiced. He pointed out that the Pemra had failed to act as an independent regulator and it had rather become a subordinate body of the government.

He said that Pemra officials should behave like public officials instead of showing loyalty to the PML-N and protect citizens of Pakistan and their institutions.

Azhar said that Pemra was bound to perform its duties with due diligence in order to protect state institutions and the dignity and integrity of courts. He said that Pemra had the powers to bar the media houses from airing anything which was against the laws and offensive to state institutions. The petitioner prayed to the court to initiate contempt proceedings against leaders of the PML-N and take action against the Pemra for not controlling alleged contemptuous speeches on TVs.