IHC indicts GB ex-judge Rana Shamim in contempt case

Ex-GB judge denies charges, pleads not guilty: Court defers arraignment of other contemnors: Rejects two miscellaneous petitions of Rana Shamim

By: News Desk
Published: 12:08 PM, 20 Jan, 2022
IHC indicts GB ex-judge Rana Shamim in contempt case
Caption: TV grab.
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The Islamabad High Court has indicted the former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Rana Shamim in the high profile contempt of court case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

However, Rana Shamim denied charges against him. He pleaded not guilty. He said he could not believe in the concept of contempt of court. He asked the court if he put an affidavit in his pocket, then would he be liable to the contempt! 

The court, however, deferred arraignment of other contemnors in the case including journalist Ansar Abbasi. 

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah while rejecting Rana Shamim’s request indicted him. He said that the court had already been scandalized wondering if there was some problem with the court. He said that the narrative was being made while putting focus on the IHC. And the narrative clearly stated that the judge of the court was compromised, he added. 

“The court cannot give licence to any petitioner to disgrace it and sit silently and let people’s trust in it vanish,” Justice Minallah remarked. 

The judge further said that the court believed in public accountability. If there is no accountability, then there will be no improvement, he added. 

While framing charges on Rana Shamim, the court said that he went to England to record his affidavit. The indictment further read that Mr Shamim claimed that former chief justice Saqib Nisar had gone to GB on vacations. According to him, Saqib Nisar relayed instructions that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz should not come out of jail before elections, the indictment stated. 

Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan requested the court to just indict former GB judge today and defer framing of charges against other contemnors in the case. 

CJ Minallah asked Rana Shamim had he heard the charge and whether he confessed to it. On this, the ex-GB judge replied that he agreed with some points and disagreed with some others. 

However, Rans Shamim denied charges against him and pleaded not guilty. 

The CJ further prodded him whether he accepted his mistake. He told Rana Shamim that he had been indicted and the court would provide him with a copy of the indictment sheet. 

Rana Shamim asked the chief justice if he alone was indicted in the case. The CJ told him that the court would also see the cases of others. You should give your written reply and submit your declaration/statement, the CJ directed Rana Shamim.

The former GB judge remarked if the court had already made up its mind, then it should pronounce his punishment today.

Media people indictment deferred 

During the hearing, Rana Shamim’s story author Nisar Abbasi, amicus curiae Nasir Zaidi and representative of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Afzal Butt appeared before the court.

AG Khalid Jawed Khan and media organizations’ representatives requested the court not to indict journalists in this case. 

Mr Afzal informed the court that they were making code of conduct for reporting the subjudice matters. 

Chief Justice Minallah remarked that he had given a chance to the media, but it did not show any remorse. We cannot give licence to anyone to humiliate the court,” he added. 

The justice expressed his astonishment that the newspaper which broke the story was a very established paper so why didn’t they seek legal advice before publishing the story? 

PFUJ Secretary and amicus curiae Mr Zaidi said that some things are condoned in court reporting. He said media faced military courts and now it was facing civil court. 

With this, the court deferred indictment of media people and adjourned the case till Feb 15. 

Shamim family’s plea seeking disqualification of PTI ministers rejected   

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday rejected the petition, seeking an end to the ‘character assassination’ of former top judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Rana Shamim and the disqualification of four PTI ministers over that. 

The IHC bench, comprising Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, also rejected the intra-court appeal filed by Shamim’s daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter. 

During the hearing Ahmed Hassan Rana Advocate, representing the petitioners, prayed to the court to declare the single bench’s verdict against his client null and void.    

He also sought the court’s instructions to order four federal ministers to publicly apologize for maligning former GB judge. “Whoever wants to say something on Shamim’s case, he or she should do so by remaining within the limits of the law and refrain from mudslinging,” he demanded. 

The News International, English daily owned by Jang Group, had published Rana Shamim’s affidavit around one-and-a-half months ago, in which he had accused former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar of pressurizing a judge in the IHC to deny bails to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz. 

Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani