Court defers indictment in Rana Shamim affidavit case till Jan 20

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday deferred indictment in the contempt of court case against former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Rana Shamim and other accused till Jan 20

The court had resumed hearing of the case earlier today under IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah

The high court had initiated proceedings against Shamim, investigative reporter Ansar Abbasi, editor-in-chief of a national daily, and its resident editor 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

During the proceeding held today, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan appeared before the court and said that from the first day of the hearing he was of the view that Rana Shamim was the main accused in this case

“The case of three journalists is secondary

Ansar Abbasi or Amir Ghauri’s organisation was spreading a narrative,” said the AGP, adding that the affidavit was issued for a special purpose which is not even before the court

“Today, Abbasi and Ghauri said that if it [the affidavit] had been in the form of a statement, they would not have published it and [that] the impression of their organisation spreading a narrative should end," said Khan

The AGP suggested postponing the proceedings against the media personnel and providing a fair trial to Rana Shamim and framing the charge against him

Read: Affidavit 'appeared an attempt' to influence Nawaz's case: IHC IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the “narrative” is that Saqib Nisar talked to a judge about a case

“Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and I were part of the bench

Are you trying to say that someone tried to interfere in our ruling? Won't the common man say that judges got influenced after reading the affidavit?” he questioned Abbasi

“A narrative was made that the Islamabad High Court was following someone's instructions because two days after the [date mentioned in the] news published, appeals were being heard,” Justice Minallah said

The journalist argued that he did not write the name of the court or any judge in his news story

Judicial assistant Faisal Siddiqui appeared before the court and said that as far as journalists were concerned, he would oppose framing a charge against them

To this, the IHC CJ said the publisher of the newspaper should say that what was written in the affidavit was not his responsibility

“In a pending case in the UK, the reporter had reported, but the reporter and the editor [both] had been convicted for this,” the judge said

“Ansar Abbasi, there is no doubt about your credibility, but you do not realise the effect of your mistake,” he added

Rana Shamim's lawyer Abdul Latif Afridi said that he has known Abbasi for a long time and he has only conveyed "the truth to the public"

Maybe this incident occurred due to his lack of knowledge on the subject, the counsel prayed

The chief justice said that the “narrative” is that benches were made by someone else

“If such is the case then an inquiry should be initiated against those who were sitting in the benches

 I have been saying it from the first day that no one can have access to a judge,” the IHC chief justice remarked

Subsequently, the IHC adjourned the hearing due to Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman’s absence as he is currently under quarantine due to Covid-19

On Dec 28, 2021, the IHC decided to indict Shamim along with other accused in the contempt of court case on January 7 (today)

'Private affidavit' Shamim’s lawyer Latif Afridi said his client didn’t share the affidavit with anyone

When Ansar Abbasi had approached him for a version, he was told that the affidavit was a private document, Afridi added

As per Rana Shamim, the document could have been leaked by the notary public

At this, the court asked did Shamim send notices to Abbasi or the notary public? Afridi said this was Shamim’s own issue as he was not hired to argue on that issue

He said Shamim got to know of the leaking of his affidavit after it was published in the newspaper

“Shamim will take action against those who [allegedly] leaked his affidavit after getting free from these proceedings,” Afridi added

Affidavit signed at Nawaz’s office In exclusive evidence available with this scribe, Rana Shamim, took the oath and signed an affidavit in the office of none other than Mian Nawaz Sharif, trying to incriminate former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and honourable sitting judges of IHC

In the evidence available, Charles Guthrie; a UK Solicitor confirmed that ‘Judge Guy’ was at ‘Marble Arch’

During the last hearing, however, Shamim was questioned about the report published in this paper

In his reply to the reporter, Justice (retd) Shamim said that he was alone at the time of signing the affidavit

Date:08-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link