Pakistan

Ex-CJ G-B given ‘last chance’ to present witness list


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday gave former Chief Judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim ‘a last chance’ to submit a list of witnesses who would depose to substantiate allegations in the affidavit against former Chief Justice, Mian Saqib Nisar.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah resumed the hearing of a case concerning the former chief judge of G-B’s affidavit published in a national daily accusing the former CJP of delaying the release of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on bail after their conviction in the Avenfield Properties’ case.

The court warned that if Mr Shamim failed to submit the list of witnesses by Monday, it will be assumed that his affidavit was not valid.

During the hearing of the case, Justice Minallah remarked that the onus of proof in the case was on Mr Shamim. "The people were told that the judges of the IHC were compromised and an attempt was made to put a dent in the public’s confidence in this court. This court will go to any extent on this matter,” he added.

He emphasised that the affidavit in question was of a very important nature, pointing out that Mr Shamim should prove whether what it said was true. “And if it turns out to be false, the matter would become even more serious.”

However, chief justice maintained that the IHC would provide Mr Shamim full opportunity for a fair trial, adding that the court was least interested in how the affidavit was ‘leaked’.

CJ Athar Minallah also said that the court would drop the contempt proceedings if the veracity of the affidavit was proven. However, slowing down the court’s proceedings over mere technical grounds was not appropriate.

However, the prosecution submitted a list of witnesses which include the name of deputy commissioner, registrar, additional registrar of Islamabad High Court and the British solicitor.

Meanwhile, Rana Shamim's lawyer maintained that he had full faith in this court.

The Islamabad High Court then adjourned the hearing of the case till September 12 (Monday).


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