IHC summons Rana Shamim, others for indictment on Jan 20
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday summoned former Gilgit-Baltistan top judge Rana Shamim, editor-in-chief of a national daily Amir Ghauri and investigative reporter Ansar Abbasi on January 20 for indictment in the contempt of court case.
The high court had initiated proceedings against Shamim and others after an affidavit was published in the newspaper that accused former chief justice Saqib Nisar of influencing the case against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued written order of hearing of the case which took place on January 7.
Read more: Petition seeks to place former G-B CJ Rana Shamim on ECL
The written order stated that the opinion of the reporter, editor and chief editor is important as they say that they have done nothing wrong but it appears that they are unaware of the rules of pending cases.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah said that the alleged contempt of court accused have been given sufficient time but it seems that they are unaware of their responsibilities about cases that are under trial.
The order stated that opinions of organisations are being published about a subjudice contempt of court case.
The top judge, in the written order, further stated that it appeared that no legal opinion was obtained regarding the status of Rana Shamim’s document.
The shady affidavit
Since the affidavit surfaced in one of Pakistan’s leading newspapers on November 15, its authenticity has been in question. The journalist that published this investigative report has been called in for contempt of court.
Also read: IHC declares plea filed by Rana Shamim’s family non-maintainable
An earlier hearing presided by Justice Minallah noted that Rana Shamim, by making the stated allegations, had “cast doubt on all judges at IHC”.
The court also noted: “The silence of Rana Mohammad Shamim for more than three years, despite holding the highest judicial office of Gilgit-Baltistan territory raises serious questions regarding his credibility. The timing of publication of the news report is crucial because it related to appeals which were fixed for hearing, observed the chief justice. (Crl. Org. No.309/2021)”
On the orders of the court, the original affidavit was submitted a whole month after it was allegedly created. According to Rana Shamim’s statement before the IHC, he did not provide the copy or affidavit to the journalist who published the story and his affidavit was in a safe in London.