Thursday, September 29, 2022

IHC grants last opportunity to ex-GB chief judge for submission of witnesses list

IHC grants last opportunity to ex-GB chief judge for submission of witnesses list

ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted a last opportunity to ex-chief judge of Gilgit Galtistan Rana Shamim for submission of witnesses list in a contempt of court case.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case against Rana Shamim pertaining to his controversial statement about the alleged telephonic conversation of ex-chief justice.

The prosecution witnesses’ list containing deputy commissioner, registrar, additional registrar and British solicitor, produced before the bench. 

The chief justice remarked that through publishing the affidavit it was attempted to affirm that the IHC judges could be compromised. "Whether he wanted to tell the people that it was easy to have access to the IHC judges," he asked.

Chief Justice Minallah said the relevant appeals were pending with the IHC and his statement could have an impact on the right of fair trial. He asked Rana Shamim to submit the list of his witnesses.

He said the IHC had given a judgment that contempt of court could not be applied on the criticism of judges only. However, the matter of influencing a pending case was different, he added.

The chief justice said the statement of an ex-judge before a foreigner was not a minor act. "If the affidavit was correct then Rana Shamim had to prove it," he remarked.

Rana Shamim said he wanted to tender an unconditional apology. At this, the chief justice said first the accused must prove his allegation, and if he failed then he could admit it as his misconception. After that he could seek an apology and the court would view it, he added.

Rana Shamim’s lawyer Latif Afridi adopted the stance that his client had not made the affidavit public. It was wrong to forgive them who had made it public and fix responsibility on his client.

The chief justice remarked that the court had no concern how the affidavit was leaked, but it was the statement of a retired judge who had admitted to own it. The accused would be given the right of fair trial in the open court, he added.

The court asked the accused to submit the witnesses list by coming Monday, saying if he proved his allegation true then no action would be taken against him. The case was subsequently adjourned till September 12.