IHC directs Rana Shamim
to submit written statement
in contempt of court case

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday again directed former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim to submit a written statement regarding an affidavit of his in which he accused former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar of colluding to deny bails to top PML-N leadership before the 2018 general elections.

Former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim

According to a Dawn report, the court issued the directions during the hearing of a contempt of court case against the former jurist. The case is related to a news report published in The News International last year based on Shamim’s affidavit. The affidavit in question alleged that ex-CJP Nisar had made a phone call to a judge of the Islamabad High Court, asking that ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz not be released from prison until after the 2018 elections.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had taken notice of the report and subsequently initiated contempt proceedings. Apart from Shamim, journalist Ansar Abbasi, The News editor Aamir Ghauri and Jang Group owner Mir Shakeelur Rehman were also named in the case.

Shamim was indicted in the case on January 20 while the IHC deferred framing of charges against the journalists and Rehman.

The charges framed by the court include the execution of an affidavit containing scandalous allegations, and not seeking any legal recourse against the notary public or the journalist who published its contents, following the leak of the sealed document.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah

The court also charged him for his three-year silence, holding that executing the affidavit in November last year was an attempt to undermine the court’s dignity, bring the administration of justice into disrespect and divert the course of justice.

During that hearing, the court had directed Shamim to submit a written statement about his affidavit.

When the hearing resumed today, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan brought up the matter of the statement and pointed out that Shamim had still not submitted it. Justice Minallah observed that the AG’s point was valid and asked the former judge to submit his statement.

Shamim informed the court that he was ready to submit the document and that his lawyer, Abdul Latif Afridi, would do so.

The IHC chief justice noted that Afridi had submitted an application to adjourn today’s hearing after being advised 10 days of bed rest following his surgery. The judge accepted the application and adjourned the hearing to March 7.

Advocate Hamid Khan, who represented Jang Group owner Mir Shakeelur Rehman, was also present. Justice Minallah told Khan that the matter of indicting the journalists and Rehman had been deferred. Therefore, they did not need to come to the court and they should apply for exemption from regular presence at subsequent hearings.