islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday conducted hearing in the writ petition of Central Information Secretary of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Dr Shireen Mazari and directed her counsel to give arguments on the maintainability of the petition.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah directed her counsel to argue on the next hearing that whether or not a court could interfere into the parliamentary matters and deferred the proceedings till the next week.

Dr Mazari has filed this writ petition against alleged unethical remarks of Defense Minister Khawaja Asif during a Parliament session when he allegedly called her a ‘Tractor Trolley”.

During the hearing, her counsel Barrister Shoaib Razzaq contended that this is a case of defamation as the respondent Khawaja Asif had targeted the person of his client.

At this, the IHC bench remarked that a high court could interfere in a matter regarding violation of basic human rights but whether it could interfere in parliamentary affairs. “This is what the counsel needs to be addressed,” the bench said.

Dr Shireen filed the petition through Barrister Shoaib Razzaq and nominated the Ministry of Law & Justice, Speaker National Assembly, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Khawaja Muhammad Asif as respondents.

The petitioner adopted in her petition that Khawaja Asif during National Assembly session of June 8 used unethical language against her and made derogatory, defamatory, unwarranted and ill-founded remarks against her, which were a testament of a libertine.

Dr Shireen mentioned in her petition that Khawaja Asif while addressing the speaker made following remarks on her, firstly by saying “ae tractor trolley nou we chup karwaoo zara” (order this tractor trolley to shut her mouth. Secondly “ghar in sae sambhalay nai jatae” (that she cannot manage her family implying that she cannot manage her private affairs, so how is she capable to talk and represent on behalf of the people of her constituency). And thirdly, “make her voice more feminine”.

She adopted in the petition that the said remarks were duly televised and were watched around the globe by millions of watchers and are still available on certain social media forums.

She added that the aforesaid comments are wholly discriminatory and bigoted because the petitioner was specifically singled out on basis of her gender and is a malicious attempt to disparage her well-earned reputation.

The petitioner continued that the remarks made by Khawaja Asif are criminal in nature as he has defamed the petitioner which comes under section 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and has verbally harassed her which created a hostile working environment for her and thus comes under the Protection Against harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010.

Dr Shireen argued that she sent a legal notice to Khawaja Asif in whose reply he insulted her once again by eloquently explaining the attributes of a Tractor Trolley and as to how the said object emits noises and then compared it to the noises which he was allegedly hearing on the impugned day in the National Assembly.

Therefore, she prayed to the court to pass an order where exception may be granted in Article 69 with regard to protection of women on the floor. Under article 69 parliamentary proceedings are protected. Speaker National Assembly may be directed to initiate disciplinary action and to refer the matter to Election Commission of Pakistan for disqualification and suspension of Khawaja Asif.