Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to a judge and journalists including Mir Shakil ur Rehman, owner and editor-in-chief of Jang Group, one of Pakistan’s largest media conglomerates.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice has initiated contempt of court proceedings against the CEO of Jang Group of newspapers, former Gilgit-Baltistan judge Rana Shamim and others over attempt to discredit the sanctity of the judiciary. The newspaper’s editor Amir Ghauri and journalist Ansar Abbasi have also been issued show-cause notices. The court directed the respondents to submit their replies within seven days and adjourned the hearing for November 26.
Justice Athar Minallah took notice of an investigative report published in ‘The News’ newspaper by Ansar Abbasi on a matter under judicial consideration.
The report claimed that former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar influenced the judicial proceedings to deliberately prolong the detention of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz during the 2018 general elections following their conviction in the Avenfield apartments reference. The allegations were made by former Justice Rana Shamim in a November 10 affidavit.
On Tuesday, Abbasi and Shakil ur Rehman appeared before the court while Justice (retd) Shamim was not present at the hearing and was represented by his son.
“There is a difference between social media and traditional media” the chief justice remarked. He also questioned whether a newspaper’s editorial policy allowed it to publish a story on its front page citing an affidavit that was filed in London and was “not a part of any court record.”
The chief justice said the judges are also accountable but at the same time it was important to restore judiciary’s reputation and public’s faith in the judiciary.