SC to announce verdict in judge’s leaked video on Friday


–IHC repatriates Judge Malik to LHC to face disciplinary proceedings

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) will announce its verdict on petitions regarding former accountability judge Arshad Malik’s video scandal on Friday.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was hearing the case.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday repatriated the former accountability court judge to the Lahore High Court (LHC) to face disciplinary proceedings over his confessions which it said amounted to ‘misconduct’.

In a notification, the court said that the judge’s confessions in his press statement and affidavit on July 7 and July 11 respectively amount to “misconduct and violation of the code of conduct, which warrant imitation of disciplinary proceedings against him”. For this reason, the chief justice of IHC, suspended and repatriated the former accountability court judge with immediate effect so that he can be face disciplinary proceedings.

Two days earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa had asked why the federal government had not repatriated him to face disciplinary proceedings. He said that the judge’s conduct had caused all honest, hard-working and dedicated judges to bow their heads in shame.

He further asked if the government was protecting the judge by keeping his services with them, adding that the whole situation was dangerous as a judge was vulnerable to exploitation by a third party because of secrets he was guarding. Over this, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor had told the chief justice that Judge Malik would be repatriated.

Last month, the apex court took up the case on a petition submitted by a citizen named Ishtiaq Ahmed, who appealed the court for an independent judicial inquiry of the video scandal.

On July 12, judge Arshad Malik was relieved from his duties by the federal government for his alleged involvement in the controversial video scandal.

During the last proceedings, Chief Justice Khosa remarked that three weeks were given to complete the investigation and the report was regarding two videos – one which was used to blackmail the judge and the other which was shown in the press conference.

The chief justice inquired whether a petition had been filed in court to obtain any legal benefit, to which the attorney general said no petition had been filed.

The top judge remarked that the video would be of use for the release of incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif when a petition is filed. He added that it remained to be seen if a forensic audit could be carried out on a copy of the video and if this was possible for a YouTube video.