The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday indicted six PML-N activists, including an MNA and an MPA for contempt of court after they staged an anti-judicial rally in Kasur last month.
The six men, identified as MNA Waseem Akhtar, MPA Naeem Safdar, municipal chairman Ayaz Khan, vice-chairman Ahmad Latif, and Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan, denied the charges.
A full bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, was hearing the petition filed by the president of Kasur District Bar Association seeking the respondents’ disqualification as their acts amounted to contempt of court.
One of the activists issued an unconditional apology again in court today, although all six had already issued oral apologies during the last hearing of the case.
“We are embarrassed and we apologise and repent,” Nasir Khan said.
The court gave the accused seven days to submit their replies, after they were formally charged.
In April, police had booked 80 PML-N activists, six of whom were nominated for allegedly staging a demonstration against an apex court verdict on the lifetime disqualification of former PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, and using expletives against the judiciary.
Though the speeches were not aired on television, videos of the rants went viral on social media through which the speakers were identified.
Police registered cases against the accused under Sections 166, 506, 341, 228 (intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding), 109, 147 and 149 (offenses against public tranquility) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and multiple activists were arrested.
A number of PML-N leaders have faced contempt of court proceedings since the party stepped up its criticism of the judiciary in the aftermath of last year’s Panamagate verdict.
State ministers Tallal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz are facing cases in the Supreme Court while Nehal Hashmi was imprisoned for a month after being found guilty of contempt.