Former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Rana Shamim, Wednesday, moved an application before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and objected over appointment of the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) as prosecutor in a contempt case against him and others for publishing a controversial affidavit.
A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah is hearing the case, wherein, he had already issued show cause notices to Shakilur Rehman, Editor in Chief, Aamir Ghouri, Editor, Ansar Abbasi, and Rana Mohammad Shamim, former chief judge of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan after publication of a news item.
Abbasi in his report said that Rana Shamim executed an affidavit, in which, he leveled allegations against former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and said he issued directives that former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam would not be released from jail before general elections in 2018.
In his application, Shamim stated that on December 12, 2021, this court appointed Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan as a prosecutor in the contempt case, which is fixed for framing of the charge sheet against the alleged contemnors.
He adopted, “The Attorney General, Khalid Javed, is hostile towards the applicant from day one despite the fact that he was neither appointed as prosecutor nor was he a complainant in the case yet, he pointed his fingers towards the applicant. The attorney general’s conduct was not of a disinterested or unbiased officer of the court.”
He added that the AGP represents the federal government, which is in the hands of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Shamim further said that the AGP is bent on spinning this matter for “ulterior motives” and he is more interested to get him (Shamim) convicted on the one hand and to please the PTI government on the other.
“The conduct gives a strong perception that the attorney general is acting as a counsel for the ruling political party,” maintained the former GB judge.
He continued, “The applicant not only apprehends personal hostility of the attorney general but also fears that he would not conduct the trial fairly.”
He said that the advocate general Islamabad is available to the court who is chief law officer of the Islamabad Capital Territory and he is the natural choice to be a prosecutor in the normal court.
He added the AG would be better placed to act as the prosecutor in the circumstances.
Therefore, Shamim prayed before the court that the services of the attorney general as prosecutor may be dispensed with and the advocate general Islamabad be appointed as a prosecutor in the present case.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 20, 2022.