IHC hints to indict Rana Shamim, others for not submission of original affidavit

Written by The Frontier Post

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday granted one more opportunity to ex-chief judge Gilgit Baltistan Rana Shamim for submission of his original affidavit regarding the alleged telephonic conversation of former chief justice Saqib Nisar.

The chief justice IHC remarked that the court would indict the defendants in contempt of court case on next hearing if they failed to produce the original affidavit.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the contempt of court case regarding the controversial news story about the judges in line of cases of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

EX-chief judge GB Rana Shamim, editor of an English daily Aamer Ghauri, senior journalist Ansar Abbasi, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed, Advocate General Islamabad Niazullah Niazi and others appeared before the bench.

However, the court granted one day exemption from hearing to Mir Shakeel ur Rehman, Chief Editor of the said newspaper.

At the outset of hearing, the court inquired about the standard for publishing of a news item. Amicus curiae Faisal Sadiq Advocate said the newspaper had not sought the version of IHC and its registrar office. What was the emergency to publish the news without verifying the facts, he said.

Rana Shamim said that his affidavit was private document and he had not given it for publication.

The chief justice remarked that a narrative was being built that a certain politician was not allowed to be out from prison before the general elections. The court asked that why Rana Shamim had given affidavit after three years and what was its motive.

It was not given to be kept in locker only, instead the affidavit must have been prepared for submission to any forum in United Kingdom, Justice Minallah said.

He further remarked that the public was given the impression through the news story that the then chief justice of the top court had pressurized this court. The timing of publishing of the news story was also very important, he said.

The court asked ex-chief judge’s lawyer Latif Afridi that why his client had given affidavit in UK, adding that he should have submitted it to any relevant forum in Pakistan.

The chief justice said his concern was not about any other court as the appeals of relevant people were pending with it, adding that no one had courage to approach any judge of this court. Bars and journalists association were aware about everything, he said.

The court asked the lawyer Latif Afridi to view the matter as amicus curiae of the bench. The lawyer said that it was not the first time when the allegations were leveled against judges.

The chief justice said that judges couldn’t hold press conferences to present their version, adding that a narrative was being built against the judiciary.

Justice Athar Minallah asked the attorney general that what the court should do when the defendants were not answering.

Rana Shamim said that the comments were ready and his lawyer would submit it. Latif Afridi said that when the political parties failed to address their problems then they moved  courts.

The court inquired that where was the original affidavit.

 The lawyer said it was in UK with the grandson of Rana Shamim and he was also being harassed. Justice Minallah said it was necessary to submit the original documents to precede the case.

The court directed Rana Shamim to submit the original document till coming Monday. The court remarked that it must have consequences if the affidavit was not given for news publication.

The AGP said that he had written a letter to Rana Shamim to submit the affidavit in Pakistan High Commission in London.

He said it was serious issue if a person was being harassed in UK and asked that it must be told that who was harassing him.

Latif Afridi said unfortunately three deaths were happened consecutively in the family of his client.

He prayed the court to grant permission to Rana Shamim to travel UK for getting document.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case till December 13, with above instructions.

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