Monday December 13, 2021

IHC Delays Indictment Of Rana Shamim Till Dec 20

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday deferred forming charges against former Gilgit-Baltistan judge Rana Shamim till December 20.

The court resumed hearing of the contempt case related to the publication of an affidavit in which Rana Shamim accused ex-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar of denying bail to PML-N leaders.

Justice Athar Minallah has, once again, instructed the former GB judge to present the original copy of the affidavit in court. At the previous hearing, Rana Shamim was told to submit the original document or face charges.

During the proceeding on Monday, senior journalist Ansar Abbasi, a media group editor Amer Ghouri, and Attorney General Khalid Jawed were present.

At the beginning of the hearing, Justice Minallah asked why a newspaper would publish something which could “tarnish the image” of a top judge.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) secretary-general Nasir Zaidi, who is the impartial advisor to the court in the case, said that a journalist’s responsibility is to publish a news story on the basis of facts.

Justice Minallah replied that the news story gives an impression that the judge takes directions from other people. “The story should have mentioned that the judge [Saqib Nisar] was on leave during those days.”

“The public’s trust in this court has been damaged by one news [report],” he said.

Justice Minallah also recalled that Rana Shamim had said that the affidavit was never given to anyone. To this, Ansar Abbasi replied that Rana Shamim never told him that the affidavit was not supposed to be published.

The court, consequently, directed the journalist to read the news story and state whatever he wanted to say in a counter-affidavit.

During the proceeding, AGP Khalid Jawed urged the court to set a date for the indictment of Rana Shamim.

“The court had given him [former GB judge] the last chance to present the original affidavit today,” he said, adding that Rana Shamim voiced concerns of affidavit being leaked after leaking it himself.

Justice (retd) Shamim had claimed in the affidavit, recorded allegedly on November 10, that three years ago the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the lower judiciary to delay the release of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz until after the 2018 general elections.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took notice of the report by an English daily newspaper and initiated contempt of court proceedings on November 16.

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