The Islamabad High Court repatriated on Thursday former accountability court judge Arshad Malik to the Lahore High Court for initiation of “disciplinary proceedings” against him.
Judge Malik had sentenced former premier Nawaz Sharif to jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case. Nawaz’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, had alleged that the accountability court judge was pressured into sentencing the former premier.
During an explosive press conference on July 6, Maryam had claimed the judge was blackmailed into convicting Nawaz without any evidence and had admitted that. According to her, Judge Malik had himself called PML-N leader Nasir Butt to his house to clear his conscience. She had also shown a video clip from their meeting.
Judge Malik, however, had said the video clip was not representative of their conversation. He had said it was cut and edited and was not reflective of what he said. The judge had said the PML-N, more notably Nawaz’s family, tried to bribe him during the former premier’s trial and when he didn’t cooperate, they threatened him.
On July 12, the IHC acting chief justice had asked the Ministry of Law to remove Judge Malik from his position as an accountability court judge until an investigation into the video scandal was completed.
The IHC, in a notification issued today, said the disclosures made by the judge in his earlier press release and affidavit with regard to the video scandal “constitute acts of misconduct and violation of the code of conduct”.
“The disclosures and admissions made by Mr Mohammad Arshad Malik… prima facie, constitute acts of misconduct and violation of the code of conduct, which warrant initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him,” read the IHC notification.
“Therefore, the honourable chief justice of this court has been pleased to order to place the said judicial officer under suspension and repatriate [him] to his parent department i.e. Lahore High Court, Lahore with immediate effect, for disciplinary proceedings to be conducted in accordance with law.”
The judge was also summoned to the IHC and informed about the orders.