IHC CJ directs Rana Shamim to submit written reply, original affidavit on next hearing

12:20 PM | 30 Nov, 2021
IHC CJ directs Rana Shamim to submit written reply, original affidavit on next hearing
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ISLAMABAD –Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah told the former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim that he tried to shake the public’s confidence in the judiciary, instructing the former judge to say whatever he wanted to in the written response. 

A couple of weeks earlier, Shamim had alleged in a affidavit that then CJP Saqib Nisar had directed a high court judge to not release Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on bail at any cost before the 2018 general elections.

Presiding over the hearing, Justice Athar Minallah said the judiciary’s freedom was dependent on the freedom of the press. “However, there are some responsibilities that come with the freedom of the press,” he noted. 

The IHC chief justice then summoned Rana Shamim to the rostrum and asked whether he had submitted a written response to the court regarding the case. 

“My lawyer will tell you why I did not submit a written response,” replied Rana Shamim. “My brother’s chehlum will be held in a few days. Please hold a hearing of the case after that,” he requested.

Justice Minallah told Shamim that he submitted an affidavit over an incident that allegedly occurred three years ago. “A newspaper carried the details of the affidavit for the public [to read],” noted the IHC CJ. 

“I was contacted after my affidavit was published. I confirmed it,” responded the former judge. “The affidavit was sealed, I don’t know how it got leaked,” he added.

“Did you not provide the affidavit to him [the reporter]?” asked Justice Minallah. 

“No, I did not submit the affidavit for publication,” replied the ex-judge. 

Justice Minallah asked Shamim why did he submit the affidavit in London. “The court is granting you five days to submit your written response. You will have to tell us why you submitted an affidavit after a gap of three years,” said Justice Minallah. 

The attorney-general requested the court to delay action against the media, saying that its role was secondary in this case. He urged the court to direct Rana Shamim to present his written response with the original affidavit in court. 

At this, Shamim said he does not know which affidavit was reported by the media. “Let me have a look at the affidavit that was published,” he said. 

The IHC chief justice directed Rana Shamim to submit his written response with the original affidavit on the next hearing. 

The IHC adjourned proceedings of the case till December 7.