A lawyer has approached the Supreme Court
A lawyer has filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for it to launch an inquiry into Judge Arshad Malik’s video leak case. So far, three petitions have been filed in the case.
Judge Malik sentenced former PM Nawaz Sharif to prison for seven years after convicting him in the Al Azizia Steel Mills case. In a press conference on July 6, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz showed videos of the judge telling Nasir Butt, a member of the PML-N, that he was pressurised into convicting Nawaz. The judge, however, denied the video and claimed that what he said has been taken out of context. Many people have even asked for authorities to conduct a forensic analysis of the video.
The petitioner, Advocate Sohail Akhtar, said that the allegations made during the press conference aimed to malign the “integrity of the judiciary”. He said that “nothing has been done by the state institutions to probe into the matter and unearth the actual truth” so far.
The petition states that there has been a “flagrant disregard” of articles 4 (right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with the law), 9 (security of a person), 175 (appointment of judges), and 204 (punishment for contempt of court) of the Constitution, as well as the cyber laws and the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.
In the video shown by Maryam, Judge Malik could be seen “telling a man that he was blackmailed and coerced into convicting Nawaz Sharif despite no evidence against him”, the petition says. “He did not name anyone who showed him the video, which was used to pressurise him.” The judge also told Nasir Butt that he [the judge] was having nightmares as he had committed injustice to someone innocent and there was no proof against Nawaz Sharif, the petition says.
Malik, on the other hand, rejected Maryam’s accusations that he had convicted Nawaz without any “fear of favour”. The judge claimed the press conference “a despicable attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context”, the petition adds.
His lawyer, Ikram Chaudhry, said that the video leak is targeting the judiciary while speaking to the media outside the court. “Maryam’s press conference comes under contempt of court,” he claimed. Chaudhry said that they have named Maryam, Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PEMRA, Hussain Nawaz and Nasir Butt as respondents in the case.
The top court will hear another petition seeking an investigation into the Judge Malik video case on July 16. The petition, filed by Advocate Ishtiaq Mirza, will be taken up by a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
On July 12, the Islamabad High Court acting chief justice asked the federal law ministry to remove Judge Malik from his position as an accountability court judge until the investigation against him is completed.