IHC indicts Rana Shamim in contempt of court case

IHC warns Rana Shamim of contempt charges if original affidavit not submitted by Monday

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) warned Gilgit-Baltistan’s former Chief Justice Ranashamim on Tuesday that he must submit an original notarized affidavit by Monday, in which Shaimim’s main involvement in the judiciary is The author made serious allegations.

IHC warned the former judge that if he fails to comply with the court’s order by Monday, he will be charged with contempt of court.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over a contempt of court hearing, which involved an affidavit drafted by Shamim in which he filed serious allegations of judicial manipulation by Pakistan’s former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.

Judge Minallah warned that if he learned that Rana Shamim drafted the affidavit only for publication, he would face “consequences.”

The judge said he could not allow anyone to weaken the public’s confidence in the court.

“No independent judge can make the excuse that there was pressure on them,” he added, making reference to judges’ moral obligation to immediately report any attempts to influence the judicial process.

Justice Minallah noted that the allegations levelled by Rana Shamim were not just against the former chief justice of Pakistan, they concerned a judge of the IHC as well.

Meanwhile, the IHC granted exemption to the Jang Group’s Editor-in-Chief from appearing in person. The senior editor has been nominated in the case on the basis of an investigative report published in The News, which had first uncovered the existence of Rana Shamim’s affidavit.

Justice Minallah said the court has to keep in mind the prevalent international standards of journalism.

“What is the responsibility of key officers in an organisation when it comes to publishing news?” the IHC chief justice asked.

In response to the inquiry, Faisal Siddiqui, the friend of the court, stated that the affidavit does not appear to be suitable for publication because it is a private document.

He told the court that the former CJ Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim believed he would only be contacted after the article was published.

However, Siddiqui noted that the author of the report insisted that he had contact with the former judge before publication.

In a past hearing, Justice Minallah had observed that his court is mindful of the freedom of press and that the court’s independence is also reliant on the freedom of press — but the court had some responsibilities as well.

In the same hearing, Attorney General Khalid Javed had told the court that the role of media in this particular issue was secondary, adding that the entire responsibility rests on Rana Shamim and that he should provide the original copy of the affidavit; thereafter, the could should proceed as per the law.

The attorney general had been of the view that the court should proceed collectively against Shamim and the media which published his affidavit.

 

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