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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) in former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Rana Shamim’s intra-court appeal (ICA) challenging his indictment in contempt of court case against him.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar issued pre-admission notices to AGP, advocate general Islamabad, and other respondents.

The bench also directed the counsel for Rana Shamim, the AGP, AG Islamabad, and the counsel for the respondents to assist the court on the point of maintainability of the instant I.C.A. against the interlocutory order and deferred the hearing until the second week of June.

Shamim moved the ICA assailing an IHC single bench’s January 20 decision of indicting him in the contempt case and made journalist Ansar Abbasi and others respondents.

He adopted that the IHC single bench framed the charges only against him while letting off the hook those who published his affidavit, which is illegal. He requested the court to set aside his indictment and quash the case.

During the hearing, his counsel contended that the appellant has sworn an affidavit, kept the same in safe custody/locker of his grandson and has not given to any person for publication in the newspaper, whereas respondents No.4 to 6 have admitted that they have published the affidavit executed by the appellant in the newspaper but they have not disclosed the source, who has provided them a copy of the affidavit.

He added that the appellant has not committed any act of contempt of Court as the affidavit was not given by the appellant to anyone rather respondents No.4 to 6 have allegedly committed contempt of Court as they have admitted in their reply that they have published the same in the newspaper. However, the single bench vide the impugned order has framed the charge upon the appellant and exonerated respondents No4 to 6.

He argued that the single bench maintained in the open court that these proceedings are not contempt proceedings but they should be considered as an inquiry, while passing the impugned order instead of carrying out the proceedings as an inquiry, framed charge only against the appellant. He stated that the appellant has categorically denied giving or leakage of the affidavit to any individual.

The counsel said, “There is no evidence on record which demonstrates the involvement of the appellant in leakage of the affidavit, hence the decision for framing of charge only against the appellant and not against the co-accused, who have admitted publication of affidavit is illegal, is unlawful, against the law and liable to be set-aside.”

The IHC bench said in its written order that points raised, need consideration and let pre-admission notice be issued to the AGP, AG Islamabad and respondents No.4 to 6.

In the ICA, Rana Shamim stated that whether it is just and fair the Appellant has been charged, whereas, respondent No 4 to 6 who has admitted to publication has been discharged of the contempt proceedings?

He added that whether in the light of the judgment reported in PLD 2012 SC 553 contempt proceeding no 309/21 is liable to be quashed or kept in sine die till the final decision in the instant constitutional petition.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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