Staff Reporter – Islamabad:
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday said it will initiate proceedings against former chief justice Saqib Nisar for allegedly influencing the case against ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif if there is relevant evidence against the former top judge.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah made these remarks while hearing a contempt of court case against investigative journalist Ansar Abbasi, Editor Amir Ghouri and Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakilur Rehman for publishing a story on a sub-judice matter.
In his story, Abbasi published an affidavit of an ex-chief justice of Gilgit Appellate Court, Rana M Shamim. In his affidavit, Shamim claimed that former CJP Nisar, in his presence, called an IHC judge and told him to keep Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz in jail during the 2018 elections. However, this claim was denied by Nisar in a conversation with journalists the same day.
This report, however, had prompted the IHC, hearing appeals against the Avenfield case verdict, to issue contempt notices to Rana Shamim, Abbasi and Rehman.
As the court took up the case today, the chief justice said that if Sharifs or anyone for that matter managed to produce evidence against Nisar then the court will not let him off the hook.
Justice Minallah remarked that he was responsible if any unconcerned person was visiting the house or chamber of any IHC judge.
However, Justice Minallah questioned the veracity of the affidavit. “There is a presumption that the affidavit is false, as it was being given after a period of three years, and two days before the hearing of Maryam Nawaz’s appeal against the sentence in the said case.”
He said the report published in the newspaper raised serious questions on the judiciary and a judge of the Islamabad High Court by publishing a report without getting their facts verified from the court.
During the hearing, apologising for his father’s absence, Shamim’s son asked the court staff for permission to play a video in the courtroom, but it was denied.
Shamim’s lawyer appeared in court on his behalf and was questioned over the former GB chief justice’s absence.
The lawyer informed the court that Shamim wasn’t feeling well as he had arrived last night from Arifwala. He said Shamim’s brother had passed away.
During the hearing, he requested IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah to issue another notice against Faisal Vawda as he had passed irrelevant statements against Shamim.
The IHC chief justice replied to the request by saying that they can file a separate petition in this regard and that this shouldn’t be mixed with this case.