Rule of law: Objection to contempt plea against CM overruled

Petitioner says Sharif has criticised a court order over the project

Our Correspondent April 18, 2016
Lahore High Court. PHOTO: LHC.GOV.PK

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) bench overruled on Monday registrar office’s objection to a contempt of court petition against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for alleged criticism of judicial proceedings on petitions against the Orange Line Metro Train project.

The bench, consisting of Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and Justice Shahid Karim, ruled that the petition was maintainable.

The bench would take up the contempt petition along with the main application regarding the project at the next hearing.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, counsel for the petitioner, had earlier argued that the chief minister had been criticising a stay order that the court had issued against the project. He said this amounted to trying to influence court’s proceeding. The counsel stated that the chief minister had said that only a handful of people were against the scheme. He said the CM had also said that he could sacrifice his life… for the project.

Siddique requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Sharif.

FIR sought against CM, law minister

An additional district and sessions judge sought comments from the Civil Lines SHO on Monday on a petition seeking registration of a case against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minster Rana Sanaullah for allegedly commenting on sub judice matters.

Abdullah Malik, the president of Civil Society Network in Pakistan, had filed the petition submitting that the country’s debt had reached the Rs21 trillion mark. He called the Orange Line Metro Train project a white elephant. The project would increase the indebtedness, he said.

He said Lahore High Court had stayed construction of train route along 11 historical sites. He said the chief minister and the law minister kept commenting on the matter which he said amounted to contempt of court. He also accused them of threatening him with dire consequences in their speeches.

He requested the court to direct the SHO to register an FIR against them.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.