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July 13, 2019

Judge’s scandal becomes graver

Top Story

July 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday decided to remove accountability judge, Justice Arshad Malik, from his post over the matter of scandalous videotapes.

The directives were issued by IHC Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in a letter to the registrar’s office in which asked the latter to inform the Law Ministry that the judge has been relieved of his post and repatriated to his parent department, the Lahore High Court (LHC).

According to an IHC spokesperson, acting IHC chief justice received judge Arshad Malik's letter and then decided to request the Law Ministry to remove him from the post. The spokesperson further said that on the order of the IHC chief justice, Arshad Malik's affidavit and letter has been made part of Nawaz Sharif's acquittal plea.

Sources said the IHC chief justice had summoned Arshad Malik two to three times and questioned him regarding the controversy. Arshad Malik was asked about meeting PML-N worker Nasir Butt and others, however, he failed to satisfy the chief justice with his answers.

Arshad Malik is currently hearing the fake accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari, rental power case against former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and references against former prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The judge is also hearing several National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references as well.

The Supreme Court will also take up next week the issue of video leaked by the PML-N regarding Arshad Malik. A constitutional petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, requesting for ordering an inquiry into the controversial video of Arshad Malik. The petition has been fixed for hearing on July 16 before a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa.

In this respect, the court has issued notices to the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq and others. Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza had filed the petition through his counsel Chaudhry Munir Sadiq under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the federal government, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Nasir Butt and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) as respondents. He also requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Maryam Nawaz if her allegations found to be untrue.

The petitioner submitted that the allegations levelled in the press conference are very serious in nature and if not probed in time and brought to their legal and logical end, they may shake the confidence of the masses in the judiciary of Pakistan. He contended that the video recording, allegedly a conversation between Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt, has created an impression that the judiciary in this country is not working independently rather it is blackmailed and forced to act on the instructions of blackmailing person. Therefore, he requested the court to summon the record, video footage of the press conference, from Pemra. The petitioner added that although the judge of the accountability court categorically denied allegations against him through a press release, the state institutions have taken no step to unearth the truth.

He prayed the apex court to order an inquiry so as to determine the truth, and thereafter further necessary orders as deemed appropriate may be passed in order to secure the independence, respect, prestige and integrity of the judiciary.

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