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October 1, 2020

SC dismisses Malik’s petition in US blogger Cynthia case

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October 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik, setting aside the order passed by Islamabad High Court (IHC) allowing the writ petition of US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mushir Aalm and comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, heard Malik’s plea against the impugned order of IHC dated September 1, 2020, allowing the writ petition of US blogger. He had pleaded the apex court to set the impugned order and restore the order passed by the Justice of Peace. On Wednesday, the court upheld the order passed by IHC and dismissed Malik’s petition.

Latif Khosa, counsel for Senator Rehman Malik, Saiful Malook, counsel for US Blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie, and Advocate General Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) appeared before the court. The court after hearing the arguments of the counsels for the parties upheld the verdict of IHC and dismissed the plea. At the outset of hearing, Advocate General Islamabad submitted before the court that the IHC had remanded the instant matter to Justice of Peace, hence its decision could not be challenged.

As to whether the police would take action on the information provided in the complaint lodged by the US blogger, the Advocate General Islamabad replied that the police did not act as required under Section-154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898. Justice Qazi Amin Ahmed asked the advocate general as to whether he was in favour of the registration of a case against the petitioner, to which the law officer replied in affirmative.

Justice Yahya Afridi asked the counsel Latif Khosa if the matter was remanded back to Justice of Peace with instructions not to influence from high court’s order, then it would be acceptable to him.

Khosa replied that it would set a wrong precedent adding that nobody could remain safe in future if a case was registered against Rehman Malik. He contended that the police had already declared Cynthia’s application as suspicious adding that nothing was available on the record, neither the medical report nor any other evidence.

When the court asked Saiful Malook, counsel of Cynthia D Ritchie as to why he had been stressing for the registration of a case against the petitioner Rehman Malik if he knew the fate of the investigation. Malook, however, stressed to do so after citing various judgments of the courts in this regard.