SC to hear judge’s video scandal case on July 16


–Three-member bench led by CJP Khosa will preside over the case hearing

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) will take up the case of the controversial video involving accountability judge, Justice Arshad Malik, on July 16.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, will preside over the case hearing.

Notices have been issued to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq and others.

A citizen named Ishtiaq Ahmad had appealed to the apex court to hold an independent judicial inquiry into the video scandal.

Earlier in the day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decided to remove the accountability judge from his post over. Meanwhile, the judge submitted an affidavit with shocking claims pertaining to the corruption references against Nawaz Sharif. The judge alleged that he was threatened and made bribery offers by representatives and leaders of PML-N to give favourable judgment in the references against Nawaz.

On July 8, Prime Minister Imran Khan had urged the superior the judiciary to take notice of the alleged video of Justice Malik that was presented by PML-N leadership as proof of Nawaz’s innocence in an explosive presser.

Chairing a meeting of the party spokesperson, the PM had said, “Judiciary is free and independent, it should take notice of the matter.”

The “negative agenda” of the opposition won’t deter the government from the on-going accountability drive, he had said.

“The accountability drive in the country will go ahead as intended and the judiciary, an important institution of the state, should not be targeted,” he had added.

He had also advised his ministers and party leaders to “protect state institutions, especially the judiciary, against attacks from PML-N leadership”. He had said the spokespersons should give a befitting response to opposition’s criticism and “false propaganda”.

On July 6, Maryam had said alleged that the judge had been blackmailed into giving the verdict against Nawaz despite knowing that he was “innocent”.

Maryam also showed the reporters an alleged confessional video statement of Arshad Malik in which he tells a PML-N leader that he could find “no proof of corruption against the former premier”. “There is no evidence of a single penny being shifted from Pakistan illegally,” Maryam quoted the judge as saying in the video after showing it to the reporters.

The video was dismissed by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as fake. She also demanded that a forensic audit be conducted of the video.

On July 7, Judge Malik himself issued a stark denial of the authenticity of the video, saying that it was an attempt of mixing up facts to present them out of context. On which, Maryam said that the content of the video had been “attested by the fact that the judge did not deny its authenticity”. She also said that the video has vindicated Nawaz in front of 22 billion people.