ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is going to announce its verdict on Friday in a case related to a videotape scandal of an Accountability Court judge Arshad Malik.

On August 20, Pakistan’s top court heard three identical petitions filed by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza, Sohail Akhtar and Tariq Asad.

In the last hearing, the court had wondered why the federal government, despite an order by the Islamabad High Court, had not repatriated the judge who had admitted in an affidavit holding meetings with son and close associates of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif whom the judge had sentenced in a corruption reference.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif in a news conference on July 6, had shown video clips in which the judge could be seen admitting he had sentenced Sharif under coercion.

After the video scandal came to limelight, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) not only barred the judge from judicial work but the acting chief justice Aamer Farooq also relieved him of his duties directing the Ministry of Law & Justice to repatriate Malik to his parent department — Lahore High court (LHC).

However, the federal government did not repatriate him and in the last hearing Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the chief justice of Pakistan, wondered why the federal government had not repatriated the judge to the LHC for initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him.

“Is the federal government protecting the judge by keeping his services with them?” the chief justice had asked.

A judge has become susceptible or vulnerable to blackmailing or being influenced, be it by the government or any individual, when he had a skeleton in the closet, the top judge observed.

In the leaked videotape, the judge had confessed that he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.

During the hearing of the case by a three-judge SC bench, the CJP regretted that the conduct of Judge Malik had caused all honest, hard-working and dedicated judges to bow their heads in shame.

The other two members of the bench are Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Umar Ata Bandial. The court had made it clear it would announce the judgement in a day or two and now according to the cause list, the apex court has fixed August 23 for announcement of judgement in video leak scandal case.