The former GB chief justice appears before IHC
Former Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Justice Rana Shamim has appeared before an Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench in contempt of court case that stems from his alleged affidavit against former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.
Justice (retd) Shamim had claimed in the affidavit recorded allegedly on November 10 that three years ago the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nisar ordered the lower judiciary to delay the release of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz until after the 2018 general elections. The contents of the alleged affidavit were published by The News.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took notice of the report by The News and initiated contempt of court proceedings on November 16.
Justice (retd) Shamim has appeared for the first time before the IHC as he was absent from the last hearing.
The IHC chief justice called him to the rostrum and asked if the reporter, Ansar Abbasi, had confirmed the contents of the affidavit with him or whether he had recorded such an affidavit in the first place.
Justice Minallah said a news report had raised questions about all the judges in the country.
Justice (retd) Shamim told the court that the reporter had called him after the publication of the news item.
He said his affidavit had been sealed in an envelope that laid secure with his family. “I don’t know how it got leaked” to the journalist, he said.
However, the former judge also said he had not seen the affidavit submitted to the Islamabad High Court. “I will have to see what was [in] that [document]” said Justice Shamim.
Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan remarked that it was a bizarre situation where a news report was published on the statement of a person who says he does not remember the contents of the affidavit but who narrated the events from three years ago.
“It is not a 10 year old document that he can’t remember,” he said.
The attorney general also said that the onus of the controversy surrounding the judiciary laid on Justice Shamim now.
“It seems to be a well-planned conspiracy to discredit the judiciary,” he said.
He also said that after the statement from Justice Shamim the role of the newspaper gained secondary importance and the real action should be brought against the former judge.
Chief Justice Minallah said if no real affidavit existed the onus would be on the Jang Group, the publisher of The News.
The IHC chief justice also said that the statement by Justice Shamim had made things “complicated.”
“Rana sahib you have dented the trust people pose in this court,” he said adding that nothing was more important than the credibility of the judiciary.
Justice Shamim said he needed time to respond to the court notice as his family was mourning two relatives who died recently.
The court postponed the hearing until December 7 to allow Justice Shamim to submit a reply.