The Islamabad High Court (IHC) warned ex-chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim to submit his original affidavit in court by Monday or he will be indicted in a contempt of court case.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah held a hearing related to an affidavit submitted by Shamim, who had levelled serious allegations of judicial manipulation by ex-chief justice Saqib Nisar. He 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 Justice 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. Justice Minallah said that the allegations on the CJP are tantamount to the allegations of this high court’s judge.
Meanwhile, the IHC granted an exemption to the Jang Group editor-in-chief from appearing in-person in a contempt of court case relating to an investigative report published in a national newspaper Rana Shamim’s affidavit.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah said that 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.
Responding to the query, the court’s assistant, Faisal Siddique, said that the affidavit was not for publication as it was a private document.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.