IHC comes down on journalists who published the affidavit
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned all the accused in the Rana Shamim contempt of court case on January 20 at 10am for indictment.
The IHC on Saturday issued a written order and came down on Jang Group publisher and journalists who had published a story in November about an alleged affidavit by Rana Shamim claiming that former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the judiciary to delay the release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif before the 2018 general elections.
In the written order on Saturday, the court said that it is unfortunate that even after being given many opportunities, the accused have maintained that they have not done anything wrong.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that freedom of the press is important, but it is also important to maintain public confidence in pending cases and courts.
The order said that it appears that the journalist, editor and chief editor of the news outlets were not aware of their responsibilities. Opinions of national and international organizations are being published about a sub judice contempt of court case, the order said.
The IHC said that the reporter has maintained that what was said in the affidavit may be wrong, but it was not his responsibility to ascertain the facts. Admitting such a position would be tantamount to granting a license that anything related to a pending case could be published, the court said.
The order said that from the written answers of the accused, it seemed that they did not seek professional legal opinion from anyone. The position taken before the court is not in line with the best practices in the world, so all the accused should appear on January 20 at 10am, the order said.