Wednesday May 18, 2022

Shamim pleads IHC to cross question Saqib Nisar

Rana Shamim requests IHC to dispense Attorney General Khalid's services as a prosecutor in the contempt case

January 20, 2022
Former chief judge Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Muhammad Shamim. -File photo
Former chief judge Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Muhammad Shamim. -File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former chief judge Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Muhammad Shamim has requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that he should be given opportunity to cross examine former chief justice Saqib Nisar.

The Islamabad High Court will indict today (Thursday) former chief judge Gilgit Baltistan Rana Muhammad Shamim, Editor-in-Chief Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor The News Aamir Ghauri and Editor Investigations Ansar Abbasi in a contempt case.

The high court had initiated proceedings against Shamim and others after an affidavit was published in the newspaper that accused former chief justice Saqib Nisar of influencing the case against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

In his application on Wednesday, Rana Shamim said that it was vital for justice that counter affidavit by former chief justice Saqib Nisar should also be presented before the inquiry and he (Shamim) should be provided the opportunity to cross examine him.

He prayed to the court that instead of framing the charge against him, for a just and fair outcome of the case, an inquiry graciously be initiated to ascertain the true facts necessary for just disposal of this case. He submitted that no case of criminal contempt is made out unless it is proven that firstly he has published the facts mentioned in the affidavit, and secondly, that facts mentioned in the affidavit are proven to be false/ untrue.

"It can only happen after an independent and impartial inquiry is conducted," Rana Shamim contended. In another application, Shamim requested the IHC to appoint the advocate general Islamabad as the prosecutor in the contempt case against him instead of Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan, who is hostile towards him from day one.

Rana Muhammad Shamim filed an application in the Islamabad High Court through his counsel Abdul Latif Afridi, praying to the court that the services of Attorney General Khalid Javed as prosecutor may please be dispensed with and the Advocate General Islamabad be appointed as the prosecutor in the present case.

"Attorney General Khalid Javed is hostile towards Rana Muhammad Shamim from day one despite the fact that he was neither appointed as prosecutor nor was he a complainant in the case yet he pointed his fingers towards the applicant,” Latif Afridi contended in the application. He submitted that the Attorney General’s conduct was not of a disinterested or unbiased officer of the court.

Latif Afridi further submitted that the Attorney General represents the federal government, which is being run by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The Attorney General is bent upon spinning this matter for ulterior motives and more interested to get Rana Muhammad Shamim convicted on the one hand and please the PTI government on the other hand,” Afridi contended in the application, adding that the conduct gives a strong perception that the Attorney General was acting as a counsel for the ruling political party. He further submitted that Rana Muhammad Shamim not only apprehends personal hostility of the Attorney General but also feels that he would not conduct the trial fairly.

Latif Afridi submitted that the Advocate General, Islamabad, is available to the court, who is the chief law officer of the Islamabad Capital Territory and he is the natural choice to be a prosecutor in normal course. “Therefore, the Advocate General would be better placed to act as the prosecutor in the circumstances,” Afridi contended.