Original affidavit saved
in London, not aware how
it is leaked: Rana Shamim

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday took up the contempt of court plea against former Gilgit Baltistan (GB) chief judge Rana Shamim and others.

Former GB CJ, Rana Shamim, Attorney General of Pakistan, Khalid Javed, Advocate General Islamabad, Niazullah Niazi, Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Ansar Abbasi and others appeared before the court.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked Rana Shamim, he confirmed that the statement released by a journalist in his story is his original statement? “Yes the statement is mine, I endorse”, replied Rana Shamim.

Upon being asked how his statement was leaked, Rana Shamim said he is unaware of it and added that the original affidavit is saved in the UK with his grandson.

Former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim arrives for the hearing at the Islamabad High Court.

IHC CJ Athar Minallah directed the former GB CJ to submit his original affidavit in the court along with his written response in the case within five days and adjourned the hearing of the case for seven days.

We have to see that are the affidavit and the news item published in the newspaper are the same or different, the CJ IHC said added that differences between both of them will raise serious concerns.

The IHC top judge remarked that he personally does not believe in the contempt of court, but here the position of the courts is at stake.

Former CJ Gilgit Baltistan Rana Shamim had claimed that former CJP Saqib Nisar had asked a high court judge to keep Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif in jail till the 2018 general elections.

He claimed that he heard the conversation when the former CJP was visiting GB before the 2018 elections.

Saqib Nisar, however, rejected the claim and said that the allegations against him are far away from reality and termed it as a lie.

The former top judge said, Rana Shamim asked me for extension of his tenure as CJ GB, which I didnt approve. Nisar said Rana Shamim complained once against not giving him an extension.

Rana Shamim on Tuesday distanced himself from an affidavit attributed to him in which allegations of collusion were levelled against another former jurist Mian Saqib Nisar, telling the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that he had not yet examined the ‘leaked’ document.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar (L), former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Mohammad Shamim Ahmed Khan (C) and journalist Ansar Abbasi.

Shamim made the remarks during the hearing on show-cause notices issued over an investigative report that highlighted Shamim’s accusation against Nisar of colluding to deny bails to top PML-N leadership before general elections 2018.

The report published on Nov 15 in The News by journalist Ansar Abbasi, 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, editor-in-chief of Jang Group Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, The News editor Aamir Ghouri 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 today’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.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah

He added that there had been a tragedy in his family and requested the court to schedule the next hearing after December 12.

However, the IHC chief justice gave Shamim seven 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 affidavit,” the ex-GB judge informed the court, referring to the document mentioned in the report carried by The News.

However, the report had said that Shamim confirmed the content of the affidavit both on a phone call with the correspondent, as well as a message.

When Justice Minallah asked what purpose Shamim’s affidavit would have served and whether he had given it to a newspaper, the former judge responded, “My affidavit is sealed in a locker in the UK. I don’t know how it was leaked.”

The IHC judge again pressed Shamim, asking him whether he had or hadn’t given the affidavit concerned to the newspaper. “You must have recorded the affidavit for some purpose. You will inform in the written response how the affidavit was revealed after three years.”

When Shamim requested the court to give him more time to submit his response on account of the chehlum of his brother and sister-in-law, the judge remarked, “This is also a serious matter. You should justify yourself.”

Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan, who was also present in today’s hearing, requested the court to direct Shamim to present the “original” affidavit in the IHC.