IHC dismisses petition seeking a ban on airing Nawaz Sharif’s speeches

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Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on airing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) founder Nawaz Sharif’s speeches on TV channels The verdict was issued by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

In its judgment, the IHC stated that there are other platforms where such matters could be decided. “The tendency of invoking the constitutional jurisdiction of a High Court in matters involving political content is certainly not in the public interest and that too when the law provides for alternate remedies. Courts ought to exercise restraint because of the consequences,” the verdict stated.

The judgment said, “It unnecessarily involves a Court in controversial matters which otherwise can be agitated before other appropriate forums.”
The IHC maintained, “The learned counsel was also not able to satisfy this Court that which of the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Constitution’) had been violated requiring enforcement through the issuance of a writ.”

The court stated, “It is noted that the security of Pakistan is not frail nor can be threatened by mere political rhetoric. The people of Pakistan, through their chosen representatives, have the will and resolve to safeguard the security of Pakistan. The security of Pakistan is surely not dependent on the issuance of a writ by this Court.”

Earlier, petitioner Aamir Aziz Ansari had moved the court through his counsel Adnan Iqbal Advocate and cited Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, and Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) as respondents.

In his petition, Ansari stated that Nawaz Sharif managed to go abroad on the pretext of his ailment but he not only participated in politics but also initiated a smear campaign against the state institutions.

He contended that Nawaz Sharif, during his recent speeches, had maligned the state institutions and a “convict’s speech cannot be allowed to be broadcast on media”. The petitioner maintained that the former premier’s speech tarnished the image of national institutions.

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