By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Former Premier Nawaz Sharif is set to face yet another contempt of court charge after a high court on Monday accepted a petition seeking action against him and his daughter for allegedly criticizing the judiciary.
The three-time premier, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the whistleblower Panama Papers case, has been critical of the apex court ever since declaring, time and again, the top court’s judgment against him as an "insult" to the public vote.
The petition, filed by a local lawyer in the Islamabad High Court, is the latest in a series of similar petitions already filed in different courts across the country.
In December last, the same high court had dismissed a similar petition against Sharif.
The petitioner accused Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who is also touted as his political successor, of creating hatred and inciting the public against the judiciary, according to court records and local media reports.
The court fixed the hearing of the case for next week.
The Supreme Court ruled last July that Sharif had acted in an untrustworthy manner by failing to declare a salary from his son's Dubai-based company ahead of the 2013 election.
The court also ordered the opening of corruption cases against Sharif and his family members over revelations stemming from the Panama Papers scandal.
Sharif's children -- Hassan and Hussain -- who are in London, have already been declared absconders in the cases.
Legal experts see little impact of the contempt of court petitions against Sharif, who late last year managed to get re-elected as the head of his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) following a controversial legislation by the parliament, where his party enjoys a brute majority.
"I think the Supreme Court judgment is now public property and Nawaz Sharif has the right to raise questions on the verdicts. It is not contempt," retired Justice Ghulam Mohiuddin told Anadolu Agency.
Mohiuddin, a former judge of the Peshawar high court, added: "I don’t think it [petition] will bring any harm to Sharif as he is criticizing the judgment not the court."
*Islamuddin Sajid contributed to this report from Islamabad.