SC to take up leaked video scandal case tomorrow
IHC fixes Sept 18 for hearing Nawaz’ appeal against conviction in Al-Azizia reference
Supreme Court of Pakistan is hearing a petition seeking probe into the video leak controversy involving accountability judge Arshad Malik.
The court has fixed July 16, Tuesday for hearing the plea.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa will take up the petition moved by Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza seeking an investigation into the matter to “bring the truth to light.”
The petitioner has requested the top court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and others for allegedly maligning the judiciary. Mirza states in the petition that the leaked video, as it appears, raises questions over the judiciary’s independence.
Meanwhile, there is no immediate relief for former prime minister and leader of the main opposition party of Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up his appeal against conviction in the Al-Azizia reference after summer vacation on Sept 18.
The removal of accountability court judge Arshad Malik in the wake of a leaked video linked with Nawaz Sharif’s conviction had led to the speculations that Nawaz Sharif’s release from the jail was a matter of days. Judge Malik had on Dec 4, 2018, sentenced ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 7 years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. He had however acquitted him in Flagship reference.
Nawaz Sharif later filed an appeal against his conviction in the IHC while the National Accountability Court (NAB) also filed appeal against Nawaz’ acquittal in the Flagship reference.
The IHC’s registrar office has now clubbed both the appeals by Sharif and the NAB fixing September 18 as date of hearing.
The IHC had on Friday relieved Accountability Court judge Arshad Malik of his judicial duties writing a letter to the Ministry of Law & Justice that the judge might be sent back to his parent department ie Lahore High Court.
Immediately after the judge’s removal, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and vice-president and daughter of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz had demanded of the government to set aside Nawaz Sharif’s conviction by the said judge and release him at the earliest. The IHC had earlier suspended a sentence by the Accountability Court judge Mohammad Bashir last year awarded to former premiere and his daughter in another reference Avenfield.