IHC defers indictment in Rana Shamim case to January 7

Former GB chief judge produces his affidavit in court: Denies notarizing affidavit in front of Nawaz Sharif

By: News Desk
Published: 12:17 PM, 28 Dec, 2021
IHC defers indictment in Rana Shamim case to January 7
Caption: File photo.
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The Islamabad High Court has delayed the indictment in the contempt case against Rana Shamim and others fixing January 7 as the new date for the arraignment, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

The IHC headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the contempt case against former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Rana Shamim and others in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The court deferred the indictment in the case till Jan 7. Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan said that since Rana Shamim committed contempt by writing an affidavit against former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, he should confess his offense and seek forgiveness. 

The attorney general said if Rana Shamim tendered his apology, he too would request the court to stop any further proceedings against him. He wondered for the last three days, a news regarding the place where the affidavit was recorded had been circulating in the media but no denial came from Rana Shamim

Chief Justice Minallah said that Rana Shamim alleged that a former CJP was instructing on phone that Nawaz Sharif should not be allowed bail before the 2018 general elections. The IHC CJ asked journalist Nisar Abbasi did he have knowledge how many benches were formed before and after the 2018 elections. 

“Nawaz Sharif got relief from the court after two weeks. So what was the logic in it that he should be out of jail after elections and not before them,” the CJ wondered. 

Justice Minallah remarked that the beneficiary of Rana Shamim’s affidavit got relief from the same court and now the narrative was being made that the Islamabad High Court was compromised. 

“The narrative is being presented in a way that everyone has started thinking that it’s true. The matter does not involve Saqib Nisar only. The narrative has made position of two judges doubtful. It’s a serious matter,” he added.

The CJ asked Rana Shamim and others to try to understand the consequences of the affidavit. What if tomorrow Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav gave an affidavit alleging this court was compromised and his case should not be heard here, he asked. 

The vice chairman of Pakistan Bar Council suggested the court to take declaration/affidavit of all the people involved in the contempt case. 

On which, the CJ remarked: “Does it mean that the PBC is suggesting that what is written in Rana Shamim’s affidavit is truth!” He said if that was the case, then it meant that the PBC held every IHC judge in suspicion. He asked the bar council to adopt a clearer stance in this regard.

Earlier, former GB chief judge Rana Shamim produced his affidavit in the Islamabad High Court. 

The court ordered Mr Shamim to open the envelope containing affidavit himself. 

Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan told the court that Rana Shamim had said that he had given the sealed affidavit to his grandson but when the affidavit was sent to the courier service, it wasn’t sealed. 

On this, Mr Shamim confirmed that he had affixed this envelope and the affidavit was sealed.

Chief Justice Minallah asked Mr Shamim’s lawyer Latif Afridi what legal action was taken by his client against journalist Ansar Abaasi who published the contents of the affidavit without his client’s consent. “What do you reckon, Mr Shamim’s privacy was not breached,” the CJ inquired. 

Mr Afridi said though Ansar Abbasi being a media person enjoyed some journalistic freedom but as a matter of fact, his client could not take any legal action against him because of the ongoing contempt case. 

When Justice Minallah asked the lawyer who was the beneficiary of this affidavit, he said he had no knowledge of it. 

The CJ remarked that even the beneficiary got relief from this court. 

Earlier, talking to media outside IHC building before the hearing of contempt case, when a journalist asked Rana Shamim whether he notarized his affidavit in front of Nawaz Sharif or not, he retorted that he should ask this question to those who were saying this. He said he showed his affidavit to nobody nor did he allow anybody to do so. 

He said his lawyers would deal with the matter of sending legal notice to journalist Nisar Abbasi who published the story. 

Reporters Ehtisham Kiyani and Kafayat Ali