ISLAMABAD: The family of Rana Mohammad Shamim, the former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan, has called for a probe into the ‘revelations’ made by him in his affidavit and also sought action against some federal ministers and television anchorpersons for ‘defaming’ him.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was due to hear the petition on Tuesday (today). Anum Ahmed Rana, the daughter-in-law of the ex-chief judge, and her children — Mohammad Hamza Rana and Areeba Ahmed Rana — jointly filed the petition in the IHC on Monday.
The court has already initiated contempt of court proceedings against Rana Shamim, journalists Ansar Abbasi and Aamir Ghauri, and Mir Shakeelur Rehman, the editor-in-chief of Jang Group. It is likely to indict them on Jan 20.
The petitioners cited as respondents the law secretary, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman, federal ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Faisal Vawda, minister of state Farrukh Habib, Member of National Assembly Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, former attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan, TV anchorpersons Kashif Abbasi and Waseem Badami, the registrar of Gilgit-Baltistan’s Supreme Appellate Court, the registrar of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University of Law and the advocate general for Punjab.
The petition contended that the contents of Rana Shamim’s affidavit, the leaked audio of ex-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and a speech by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, a former judge of the Islamabad High Court, showed that the judiciary was under pressure at that “point in time”.
In his affidavit, Rana Shamim claimed that former chief justice Saqib Nisar had made a telephone call to an IHC judge, asking him to drag on the bail petition of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz beyond the 2018 general elections. According to Mr Shamim, Justice Saqib Nisar made the call during a visit to Gilgit, where he hosted him at the rest house of the GB Supreme Appellate Court.
The petition stated that the television programmes aired recently on ARY TV hurled “frivolous allegations” against Rana Shamim that had brought anguish to his family.
Furthermore, former attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan made a statement that the GB Supreme Appellate Court was not a constitutional court and tried to belittle former chief judge Rana Shamim, the petitioners said.
They cited a judgement passed by the Supreme Court that had ruled that the Supreme Appellate Court and the Chief Court of Gilgit-Baltistan were constitutional courts.
The petition stated: “Whatever has been stated in the affidavit is based on the conversation that was heard by retired Justice Rana Mohammad Shamim while he was present at Gilgit-Baltistan and unless and until the same is proved to be false, no mala fide could be attributed, especially when the same statement has not been released to media or any journalist by Rana Shamim.”
The petitioners went on to state: “Rana Mohammad Shamim is ready to state the facts mentioned in (his) statement on solemn oath and is ready to confront the person mentioned in the affidaivit, i.e. former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, as categorically stated in his reply (to the) criminal original petition [contempt proceedings].