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IHC summons ex-CJ GB over allegations against former CJP Saqib Nisar

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Islamabad High Court. Photo: file
Islamabad High Court. Photo: file   

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday took notice of serious allegations levelled against ex-CJP Saqib Nisar by the former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim.

The IHC has summoned  ex-CJ GB Rana Shamim, editor-in-chief of The News, editor of the newspaper and journalist Ansar Abbasi tomorrow (Tuesday) in relation to the allegations against ex-CJP Saqib Nisar

A report in The News had stated that then CJP Saqib Nisar had directed a high court judge to not release Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on bail at any cost before the 2018 General Elections.

“Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif must remain in jail until the general elections are over. On assurances from the other side, he (Saqib Nisar) became calm and happily demanded another cup of tea,” this is what is said in the affidavit of the former top judge of GB talking about the then chief justice of Pakistan.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah held an urgent hearing and took the decision to summon the above-mentioned persons after the Islamabad High Court Registry took notice of the report.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah said the court will treat this matter very seriously, adding that an attempt has been made to shake the people’s confidence in the judiciary.

Justice Minallah will preside over the hearing tomorrow at 10:30am.

Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar rejects allegations

According to the affidavit, Shamim’s statement was given under oath before the Oath Commissioner on November 10, 2021. The affidavit, duly notarised, contains the signature of the ex-CJ of Gilgit Baltistan as well as an image of his NIC card. The notary public stamped the affidavit and recorded that it was “sworn under oath before me” on Nov 10, 2021.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were convicted by an accountability court in a graft case before the July 25, 2018 elections. Their lawyers had moved the court for suspension of the conviction but the case, after initial hearings, was postponed till last week of July.

But former chief justice Saqib Nisar, when approached, categorically denied that he had ever directed any of his subordinate judges in connection with any judicial order whether it pertained to Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz or anyone else.

In his response, the former CJP said that the news report about him “contradicts the facts”, adding that he would not respond to the “white lies” levelled against him by ex-GB chief justice Rana Shamim.

Nisar accused Shamim of asking for an extension as the chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan. Nisar added that he had denied him the extension.

“At one point in time, Rana Shamim also complained to me about not getting the extension,” he said.

“It is not wise to respond to every lie,” he added.

Ec-CJ GB apex court Rana Shamim sticks to his story

But Shamim has not taken back his allegations.

Sticking to his statement, the ex-GB CJ responded that former CJP Saqib Nisar had no authority to extend his [Shamim’s] tenure.

Talking to Geo News, Shamim said that he would stick to everything he had said. He said that Saqib Nisar was a guest of him in Gilgit. “I did not spend any government money on Saqib Nisar’s visit to Gilgit,” he said.

He further said that he did not feel any need to ask for an extension in his tenure and that the former CJP had no authority to extend his tenure as per law. “Who is Saqib Nisar to give me an extension?” he asked.

Rana Shamim added that he could not say when and to whom the affidavit was given, but that the top courts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir are not subordinate to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He said that it is the prerogative of the prime minister to give an extension to the chief justice in the Supreme Court of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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