ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah on Friday said that making statements against retired officials including former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) did not constitute contempt of court.
He made these remarks during the hearing of the petition seeking contempt proceedings against PML-N President Maryam Nawaz and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for trying to make the judiciary controversial by giving statements against the former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.
IHC chief justice emphasised that even if the statements were made against the former chief justice of Pakistan they did not warrant contempt of court charges.
The honourable judge maintained that judges are open-minded about criticism and they should welcome criticism as they hold very high positions.
Later, the court discarded contempt of court plea against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah stated that the PML-N leader appeared upset over the judgments of the former chief justice, Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar but her remarks don’t fall under the ambit of contempt of court.
It is pertinent to mention here that former Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Justice Rana Shamim had accused former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of not granting bail to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz before the 2018 general elections.
Former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had rejected allegations levelled by Rana Shamim and termed them as fabricated.
Days after an audio file purportedly containing former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar’s words came to light which stirred up the political debate in the country.
The ex-CJP termed the audio clip “fabricated” and said, “such [fabricated] things are being brought against me in the market. But Allah is watching. A well-organized campaign is being run against me.”
PML-N leaders sharply criticized Saqib Nisar and raised questions over the integrity of the former chief justice in a press conference.
The leaders also alleged that the ex-CJP’s judgments lacked independence and were heavily influenced, adding that Nisar was involved in an ugly conspiracy to oust former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.