IHC Dismisses Plea To Ban Sharifs’ Speeches

On Monday, the Islamabad High Court threw out the plea that sought to place a ban on the Sharif brothers’ speeches. The top judge stated he could not place a ban on the appearance of the former Prime Minister and former Punjab chief minister, on social media and media alike. The reason behind the dismissal was the fact that the petitioner had not been able to provide a plausible explanation for seeking a ban. As per the IHC, there was no valid reason to invoke the jurisdiction of the court. 

Athar Minallah, the Chief Justice, rejected the petition by deeming it non-maintainable. This was solely because Aamir Aziz Ansari, the petitioner, and Adnan Iqbal, his counsel, we're unable to satisfy the queries of the court, multiple times. 

The judge had asked questions repeatedly about how exactly the speeches were in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner. However, the petitioner and his counsel had no proper arguments to present. 

The written order signed by the judge criticized the petitioner for dragging matters of political content into the court. It also stated that the constitutional jurisdiction of any high court was not in the interest of the public. Furthermore, the judge advised them to seek alternate remedies, as outlined by the law itself. 

Justice Minallah also remarked that the law requires the compilation of certain pre-requisites before the jurisdiction of a high court can be invoked. He added that this was all given under Article 199 of the Constitution, which explains all the requirements to be fulfilled before seeking a judicial remedy or writ of mandamus. 

The judge’s concluding remarks stated that the petitioner had failed to fulfill the pre-requisites and thus, did not have the legal right to seek a judicial remedy. 

The written order also went on to say that the council was unable to provide the court with a plausible explanation to invoke the court’s jurisdiction. As per the court, an alternate remedy already existed under Section 26 of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002, which could be used by the petitioner. 

The counsel was berated for being unable to satisfy the questions of the court regarding the violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner. However, the counsel argued that the petitioner had been concerned about the threat to the security of Pakistan. Justice Minallah’s reply to this argument was a simple statement that Pakistan’s security is not frail and is unthreatened by political rhetoric. 

The IHC top judge went on to add that the people of Pakistan have the resolve and will to safeguard the country’s security, through the representatives they have chosen. He informed the petitioner and the counsel that the security of Pakistan does not depend on the issuance of a writ by the court. 

Furthermore, in the judge’s opinion, the petitioner’s apprehensions about the threat to Pakistan’s security were ‘definitely misconceived’. He also noted that petitions such as these do nothing but unnecessarily involve the court in controversial matters, which bears no fruit.