IHC indicts ex-GB chief justice Rana Shamim in contempt case

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ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday formally indicted former Chief Judge Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim in a contempt of court case.

The case was initiated following the emergence of a news report published by The News about Shamim’s affidavit that accused former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar of trying to delay the release of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz from jail before 2018 general elections.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had taken notice of the report and subsequently launched contempt proceedings.

During today’s proceedings, Justice Athar Minallah read out the charge sheet against Rana Shamim while the indictment of others suspects, including Jang Group owner Mir Shakeel ur Rehman and senior journalists Ansar Abbasi and Aamir Ghauri, has been deferred.

Rana Shamim denied the charges.

The IHC chief justice remarked that no one will be allowed to disrespect the court, adding that if there is any mistake it should be brought in the court’s notice so an action can be taken.

The high court has sought reply from Rana Shamim till March 10 and adjourned the hearing of the case till 15th of the next month.

Background

A story published in The News stated that in 2018 Nisar influenced judicial proceedings being conducted by IHC to prolong the detention of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter following their conviction in the Avenfield graft case.

As per the alleged affidavit, Shamim claims Nasir had travelled to Gilgit-Baltistan for vacations in 2018 and on one occasion appeared “very disturbed” while talking to his registrar on the phone, asking him to contact a IHC judge.

When Nisar got in touch with the judge he told him to ensure that Nawaz and Maryam are not released from jail until elections are over.

According to the document, Shamim said he told Nisar that Nawaz had been falsely implicated, to which the former CJP replied: “Rana Sahib the chemistry of Punjab is different from GB.”

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