ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court warned Tuesday former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan, Rana Shamim, to submit his original affidavit in which allegations of judicial manipulation were levelled against former chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, by Monday otherwise he would by indicted in a contempt of court case.
During today’s hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said there will be consequences if Rana Shamim had not given the affidavit for publication and had made it for any other purpose.
“No one can approach the judges of this court,” said Minallah, adding that permission won’t be given to erode public confidence in courts.
No independent judge can give an excuse that there was any pressure on him, he added.
The allegations on the chief justice of Pakistan were in fact against the respected judges of this court, Justice Minallah said, adding, “The public was given the perception that the chief justice pressured judges of this court. The timing of the story’s publication is important because [the hearing] on an appeal is under way.”
Earlier, Ex-CJ GB Rana Shamim appeared before the court. Replying to a question about his response to the show-cause notice, Shamim said that his lawyer will submit a response, adding that he was on his way to court.
After Shamim’s counsel, Lateef Afridi, reached the court and submitted his reply. He told the court that his client still stood with the content of his affidavit which he had signed in London.
Shamim’s affidavit was with his grandson in London, he said. Afridi revealed that Shamim’s grandson was chased and harassed in London.
At this, the attorney-general asked if he will bring the documents himself or provide it to the Pakistani embassy in London.
The court gave ex-CJ Rana Shamim a last chance to submit his affidavit and adjourned the hearing till November 13.
IHC exempts Jang group’s editor-in-chief from appearing in person
Meanwhile, the IHC granted an exemption to the Jang Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman from appearing in-person in a contempt of court case relating to an investigative report published in The News about Rana Shamim’s affidavit.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah said that we have to look at the international standards of journalism. “What is the responsibility of key officers in an organisation to publish news?” the IHC chief justice asked.
Responding to the query, the court’s assistant, Faisal Siddique, said that it was not for publication as it was a private document.
He told the court that ex-CJ Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim was of the view that he had been contacted after publication of the article. However, the report’s author had said that he had approached the former judge before publication, Siddique said.
‘Affidavit is in London and sealed’
On December 1, the IHC had directed former chief judge Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Muhammad Shamim to submit by December 7 the original copy of an affidavit wherein he leveled allegations against former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.
Justice Minallah, while hearing the case, had observed that his court is mindful of freedom of press and its independence is based on freedom of press, but there were some responsibilities on the press as well.
Attorney-General Khalid Javed had told the court that the role of media in this particular issue was secondary, adding that the whole responsibility rests on Rana Muhammad Shamim and he should bring the original copy of the affidavit and, thereafter, should be proceeded against as per law. He had submitted that the court should proceed collectively against Rana Muhammad Shamim as well as the media which published his affidavit.