NEWS DESK IHC To Take Up Contempt Case Against Ex-Chief Judge GB


ISLAMABAD: In a case involving allegations against former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to the Editor-in-Chief, Editor, and Editor Investigations of an English daily. The show-cause notices were also issued to the former Chief Justice of Gilgit Baltistan.
An affidavit was submitted by Rana Muhammad Shamim, who was formerly the Chief Judge of Gilgit Baltistan. The other day, the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah, took notice of the news that had been published in an English and Urdu daily by Ansar Abbasi regarding the affidavit.

Ansar Abbasi had published an affidavit of a former chief justice of the Gilgit Appellate Court named Rana M Shamim in his story. In the affidavit, Rana M Shamim claimed that in his presence, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Nisar had called an IHC judge and instructed him to keep Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz in jail during the 2018 elections.

The IHC had issued a summons to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the Editor-in-Chief of the English daily, Editor Aamir Ghauri, Editor Investigations Ansar Abbasi, and the former Chief Justice of Gilgit Baltistan, Rana Shamim, requesting that they appear in person and provide an explanation as to why a contempt of court proceeding should not be initiated against them.

In compliance with the order of the court, all of the respondents, with the exception of Rana Shamim, appeared in court on Tuesday. The court then directed its office to issue show-cause notices to all of the persons in accordance with the Contempt of Court ordinance 2003, with the instruction to submit their respective responses within a period of seven days. Rana Shamim did not appear in court. They were given further instructions to appear in court in person on November 26, 2021. Advocate Ahmed Hasan Rana, Rana Shamim’s son, acted as Rana Shamim’s legal counsel.

In addition, the court invited Faisal Siddiqui, ASC, the Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council, the President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Ms. Reema Omer, and others to act as amici curiae and provide assistance to the court.

In a similar manner, the court ordered that the accused transgressors be prosecuted either by the Attorney General for Pakistan or by the Advocate General for the Islamabad Capital Territory, depending on the circumstances.

“Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor-in-Chief, Aamir Ghauri, Chief Editor, and Ansar Abbasi have all appeared in court in response to an order that was issued on November 15, 2021. Advocate Ahmed Hassan Rana has appeared on behalf of Rana Mohammad Shamim, who informed that the latter was not well and, as a result, he was unable to appear today, Ahmed Hassan Rana stated that the latter had informed him that he was not well “according to the order that was handed down by Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court.

During the course of the hearing, Ansar Abbasi, Editor Investigation of The News, was questioned and asked whether he had contacted the Registrar of this court before filing his news report and whether the verification of the contents of the purported affidavit were made in accordance with the editorial policy and journalistic norms. Ansar Abbasi responded that he had not contacted the Registrar of this court before filing his news report.

He added that Rana Mohammad Shamim, the executor of the document, was contacted in order to get confirmation of the affidavit. He went on to say that he was only a “messenger” and that he had not breached any journalistic ethics or standards. According to the ruling issued by the court, “however, admittedly no effort was taken to seek clarification from the Registrar of this Court nor to check the substance of the claimed affidavit.”

According to what the News Desk has learned, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked during his speech that if people do not have trust in the judicial system, there would be chaos in the community. 
“If you can demonstrate with proof that judge in this court followed directives, will accept full responsibility for what happened. 
This court would not hesitate to take action against the previous chief justice if any of you or Justice Rana Shamim can show any proof that supports your claims.”
Rana Muhammad Shamim, who had previously served as the top judge of the Supreme Appellate Court in Gilgit Baltistan, was defended in court by his son, Advocate Ahmad Hassan Rana. 
The attorney said that Rana Shamim was unable to make it to court because she was unwell. 
He had arrived back home the previous evening. 
The affidavit was submitted in London on November 10, according to Attorney General Khalid Javed, who said that Rana Shamim’s brother had gone dead on November 6. 
According to the AG, the timing of the whole occurrence is quite important. 
During the hearing, the attorney for Shamim asked the Chief Justice of the Islamic High Court (IHC CJ) if the court would take note of the words made by Faisal Vawda, who is the Minister for Water Resources, and added that he may show the video of those remarks. 
The judge ruled that it could not be considered relevant to the matter at hand and instructed Shamim’s attorney to submit separate appeal.

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