Submit original affidavit or face indictment, IHC warns ex-CJ GB Rana Shamim

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday warned former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim that he will be indicted in the contempt case if he failed to submit his original affidavit in court by Monday.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the warning while hearing a case about the explosive affidavit by Shamim, who had alleged former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar of manipulating the judicial proceedings in cases related to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Justice Minallah said that no one can influence the judges of the court, adding that no one will be allowed to damage public confidence in courts.

He added that the allegations levelled by Rana Shamim were not against ex-CJP Nisar, rather, they were against a judge of the high court.

On December 1, the IHC had directed Rana Shamim to submit the original copy of an affidavit by December 7.

A show-cause notice was issued to ex-chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan over an investigative report that highlighted Shamim’s alleged accusation against Nisar of colluding to deny bails to top PML-N leadership before general elections 2018.

The report published on Nov 15 in an English daily, quoted Shamim as saying in an alleged affidavit that he witnessed Nisar relaying instructions to a high court judge to not release the father-daughter duo in the corruption references against them.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had subsequently taken notice of the report and later issued show-cause notices to Abbasi, and two others as well as Shamim under the Contempt of Court Ordinance.

All four respondents were in the court but only Rehman, Ghouri and Abbasi had submitted their written responses.

At the outset of Tuesday’s hearing, Justice Minallah remarked that the case was related to “my court and its accountability”, adding, “along with media freedom, this case is also about the independence of the judiciary.”

Justice Minallah asked Shamim whether he had submitted his response, to which the latter replied that the court should ask his lawyer about it. He added that there had been a tragedy in his family and requested the court to schedule the next hearing after December 12.

The IHC chief justice, however, gave Shamim four days to submit his written response. Shamim was previously represented by his son Ahmed Hassan Rana, an advocate of the Supreme Court. However, he later changed his legal counsel to Latif Afridi.

“I have not yet seen the [published] affidavit,” the ex-GB judge informed the court, referring to the document in the report carried by the paper.

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