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UPDATED: 20:06, May 09, 2007
Pakistan's supreme court bans publication, airing comments on judicial issues
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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has banned publication and airing of comments about the judicial crisis in the country, a Supreme Court statement said Wednesday.

"Discussions, comments or write-ups which are likely to interfere with the legal process, ridicule, scandalize or malign the court or any of its judges or touching the merits of the case are strictly prohibited and violation in this regard shall be dealt with under the law relating to contempt of court," the statement said.

Pakistan is in the grip of a judicial crisis since the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by President Pervez Musharraf on March 9 on charges of misuse of authority, but the charges were denied by the chief justice.

The reports, which will scandalize the said issue, will also be regarded as the contempt of court, it said, adding that action would be taken against those who would violate the new Supreme Court's code of conduct.

The court has also restricted the entry into the court building on each date of hearing of the Constitution Petitions to begin on May 14.

The statement said that entry into the court building would be allowed to lawyers, whose cases are fixed for hearing before any of the benches on such days. Entry will also be allowed to litigants on proof of identify.

Journalists' entry into court rooms will be regulated through entry passes issued by the Registrar Supreme Court, the statement said.

Source: Xinhua

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