ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has deferred the indictment in contempt of court docket case towards ex-chief decide of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Rana Shamim and others until January 20, Geo News reported Friday.
The IHC had within the final listening to determined to indict the previous GB chief decide and journalists within the case pertaining to the publication of an affidavit containing critical allegations that ex-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar tried to affect a case associated to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.
At the outset of right this moment’s proceedings, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah informed journalist Ansar Abbasi that the court docket had acquired his plea of a clerical error within the order. “Tell me, what clerical error is there in the order?”
The journalist informed the IHC CJ that within the order, the court docket had quoted him as saying that even when a declare was unsuitable, he would publish it within the curiosity of the plenty.
Responding to the journalist, the IHC CJ mentioned, “In your application, you yourself had written that you were not aware whether his claim against Nisar was true or not.”
The decide requested Abbasi whether or not he would publish an affidavit solely on the idea of a outstanding character handing it to him.
“The prevalent narrative is that Saqib Nisar had influenced a judge in a case. However, the said judge was not even part of the bench [which tried Nawaz and Maryam].”
“Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and I were part of that bench […] and [in light of the news story], it seems like we had been influenced,” he mentioned.
If an inquiry is held, it’s going to happen towards the judges who had been a part of the bench, Justice Minallah mentioned.
The IHC CJ informed Abbasi that all through the whole proceedings, he had tried to clarify to the journalist what he had finished.
“Take a look at past newspapers and see what you have published.”
“The story was published two days before appeals in the case were to be heard,” he identified.
‘Nobody is aware of significance of ongoing case’
At this, Abbasi mentioned Shamim must reply to the court docket relating to his affidavit.
Insisting that he had adopted journalistic ideas, Abbasi mentioned he had revealed the previous GB decide’s declare together with Nisar’s rebuttal.
The IHC CJ mentioned he revered the best to freedom of expression and that he didn’t care in regards to the criticism directed in the direction of him.
“Nobody knows about the importance of the ongoing case in the court. Sometimes things are done unintendedly; this is the second contempt of court case I am hearing in my judicial career.”
The IHC CJ additionally identified to Abbasi that his case was sub judice, but he was nonetheless publishing statements from worldwide establishments. At this, the journalist mentioned he believes that the court docket shouldn’t body fees.
It is pertinent to say right here that Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and different journalist organisations had urged the IHC to halt contempt proceedings towards the journalists.
“You will not decide this, the court will; you cannot dictate the court,” Justice Minallah mentioned.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi, who was current throughout the listening to, mentioned the court docket was a lightweight within the darkness, as this court docket had given journalists justice.
“I appeal that you refrain from framing charges,” he pleaded.
The court docket requested PFUJ’s secretary-general whether or not the court docket’s final order was despatched to worldwide organisations.
At this, Zaidi mentioned the “court’s decision was printed out and the text was circulated across the world”.
The IHC CJ then requested whether or not he must also appoint a international specialist to help within the case given the circumstances.
At this level, Abbasi mentioned: “We publish several statements, but we don’t mention whether they are true or not”.
The IHC CJ repeated his query that if the journalist was not conscious of the authenticity of Shamim’s affidavit, then why did he publish it.
Shamim’s lawyer begins arguments
After the dialog between the journalist and Justice Minallah ended, ex-CJ GB Rana Shamim’s counsel Abdul Latif Afridi began his arguments and acknowledged that it was not doable to cease a global organisation from commenting on something.
Afridi, noting that each day some minister or adviser provides an announcement which additionally will get revealed, additionally argued that since one of many suspects was not current in court docket right this moment, fees shouldn’t be framed.
As the lawyer was talking, Abbasi informed the IHC CJ that he took care whereas publishing the affidavit and didn’t identify the decide within the story. “I thought that this matter was no longer moot.”
No want for legal proceedings towards journalists
The court docket’s amicus curiae, Faisal Siddiqui, informed the decide that “irresponsibly” publishing a information story didn’t warrant legal contempt proceedings towards an individual.
“I am just against indicting journalists […] take a look at Firdous Ashiq Awan’s contempt case; Awan was involved in contempt of court and every media channel aired [her press conference].”
“Even in that case, no proceeding was carried out against the media.”
At this, the IHC CJ mentioned the difficulty is with Abbasi’s stance, as he requested the journalist to point out him any judgment which could recommend that the court docket issued orders underneath affect.
AGP asks for delaying journalists’ indictment
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan mentioned on no account ought to the trial be affected, irrespective of who’s at fault, as he famous that in case journalist Abbasi receives an affidavit any further, he’ll make sure that to analyze it additional.
The AGP mentioned the court docket ought to indict Rana Shamim and that he could be given a good trial. However, he requested the court docket to delay the indictment of the journalists. “But they should remain present during court proceedings”.
After listening to the arguments, the IHC CJ informed the journalist that he was not questioning his credibility, but in addition talked about that “Abbasi sahab, I do not doubt your credibility, but you do not realise that you are at fault here”.
The court docket then adjourned the listening to of the case until January 20.
Proceedings of final listening to
In the final listening to, Shamim’s affidavit was learn out within the court docket — greater than a month after it was first revealed. Justice Minallah requested the ex-judge whether or not it was his. Shamim confirmed that it was his authentic affidavit.
The IHC had began proceedings towards the accused after Shamim’s affidavit was revealed in The News, which accused Nisar of influencing a case involving former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.
Defending himself when given the prospect to talk throughout the proceedings, journalist Ansar Abbasi mentioned he had a chat with Shamim earlier than the information story’s publication.
“He [Shamim] may be unable to recall properly and is forgetting, but I have explained this in my story and I have his text message as well,” Abbasi mentioned.
Justice Minallah, throughout the listening to, additionally mentioned that Shamim’s response that had been submitted in court docket earlier has positioned the whole burden on journalist Abbasi.
“He [Shamim] also said that the document could have been leaked by the notary public,” the IHC CJ mentioned, including that this matter just isn’t restricted simply to former CJP Nisar.