• Friday, December 6, 2019

Updates of judges inquiries

Discussion in 'Insaf - Justice' started by ghazi52, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    SC seeks recommendations from attorney general on video leak controversy involving judge
    Haseeb Bhatti
    July 16, 2019

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    A screengrab from a video shown by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz at a press conference shows judge Arshad Malik (R) in conversation with PML-N supporter Nasir Butt (L). — DawnNewsTV/File

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday took up three petitions seeking a thorough probe into the video leak controversy involving accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik.

    A three-member bench — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and consisting of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Umar Ata Bandial — after hearing arguments from the lawyers on all three petitions, asked the attorney general to submit recommendations.

    "When the Supreme Court does everything, there are objections. When we take a step back, we are asked to take notice," CJP Khosa remarked while hearing one of the petitions.

    "We have to decide whether to step in or not," the top judge said, adding: "We also need to look into the judge's [Arshad Malik] misconduct. We need to see where we need to interfere"

    "We will soon decide a few things," concluded the CJP, while adjourning the hearing until July 23.

    Judge Malik, who convicted ousted premier Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia case last year, has been accused by PML-N's Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders of delivering the verdict "under pressure". Maryam has also released videos purportedly proving her claims. The judge, however, has denied being under any pressure, making counter allegations against Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N for "bribing, threatening" him.

    Amid deepening political and judicial crises, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after consultation with the apex court removed the accountability court judge last week, following which the Law Ministry temporarily barred Arshad Malik from working.

    'Judicial commission should be formed'

    The bench first heard the petition of a lawyer, Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza, filed through his counsel Chaudhry Munir Sadiq.

    As the hearing commenced, the petitioner's lawyer told the bench that the video leaks scandal has raised questions about the judiciary.

    He said that in her press conference on July 6, Maryam had alleged that the court was working under pressure.

    "This is a sensitive matter regarding the independence and prestige of the judiciary," said Sadiq, adding: "The court should investigate the matter and determine who is responsible."

    He said that all political parties, including PPP and JI, and lawyers in Pakistan have demanded an investigation into the video leaks scandal, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said that the judiciary should take notice of the matter.

    Noting that there had been calls for the top judge to take suo motu notice of the controversy, CJP Khosa asked: "If we do something on the demands of people, then are we independent?"

    The lawyer asked the court to form a commission to look into the matter, "even if it was just a one-person commission".

    When the CJP inquired who should head the commission, the lawyer replied "a judge".

    "Such a culture has been created in which if one does bad, everyone is thought to be the same," remarked the top judge. "It is said 'all judges are like this, all politicians are like this'." He then asked what the commission should look into.

    "The commission should look at the truth; if the allegations are proven, then contempt of court proceedings should be initiated," the lawyer responded.


    'Search for truth'

    Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry, the legal counsel for a second petitioner Advocate Sohail Akhtar, also presented his arguments before the apex court, saying that the commission should search for truth and if contempt of court had taken place, action should be taken against those responsible.

    "Since the beginning of the human race, the search for truth has been going on," remarked CJP Khosa, adding: "If we are to search for the truth, what will the judges hearing the central appeal do?"

    CJP Khosa noted that if the apex court gives any order, the high court would become restricted by it. "Then how would the high court take any action?"

    The counsel said that the decision would not be by the apex court, rather it would be based on the findings of a commission. "I am steering you in this direction," the top judge responded, adding: "No court can take notice on the findings of a commission."

    The lawyer said that removing trust in any institution was itself a matter of basic rights, adding that judge Malik's statement should be looked at "extremely carefully".

    "There is no doubt that the judge's statements are extremely extraordinary," responded CJP Khosa.

    The lawyer said that if statements regarding the judiciary continued, there would be pressure on the high court to make a decision.

    "A lawyer hit a judge with a chair — this is also extraordinary. A judge hit a lawyer with a paper weight, was this not extraordinary?" he asked.

    Justice Bandial said that the first point was regarding the institution, adding that the judiciary would look into the matter of the judge. "Every day information regarding the matter is coming out, the dust should now settle," he said.

    "We want such suggestions through which a decision can be taken without emotions."

    Advocate Chaudhry asked for contempt of court proceedings to be initiated.

    "Who will look into the allegations against judge [Arshad Malik]?" CJP Khosa inquired, adding: "Will the judge, against whom the allegations have been placed, look into them?"

    Chaudhry said that the judiciary was being mocked because of statements and counter-statements being made on the matter. "This is why we are hearing the case," CJP Khosa responded.

    The lawyer asked that the judiciary conducts an investigation on the basis of criminal and cyber [crime] laws.

    "Are all cases registered in the country and all the investigations conducted done through the orders of the Supreme Court?" asked the chief justice.


    'Interference of institutions'

    Following a brief break in the proceedings, a third petitioner, Advocate Tariq Asad, personally pleaded his case. He said that a forensic audit into the video should be conducted.

    "Sometimes the judge is going to Jati Umra and sometimes he is meeting [people] during Umrah," said Advocate Asad, questioning where the government and agencies were when the "meetings" were taking place.

    "This is a case pertaining to the autonomy of the judiciary. Some 'others' are interfering with this institution," he said.

    "You are speaking about interference in the institution, yet at the same time you are saying that the institutions should interfere," CJP Khosa replied.

    The petitioner responded that institutions were interfering but they were not doing their job.

    "The conduct of judge Arshad Malik makes it clear that he has been involved in corrupt practices," Advocate Asad claimed. "The prejudice of a judge fixed in one foreign decision will again go on trial."

    The sort of [discussion on] television talk shows these days makes me leave the room, he told the bench.

    "Instead of leaving the room, you can press one button and switch off the television," quipped the chief justice, prompting laughter in the courtroom.

    The advocate also called for a one-member commission to be formed.

    "The government also has the authority to form a commission but you are saying that the judiciary should form a commission," he added.

    The chief justice said that the accountability court judge was a subordinate of the Lahore High Court, adding that the government had appointed him on a deputation.

    He said that the authenticity of the video was of the judiciary's concern, while the rest were "public matters".

    CJP Khosa said that they should also look at how a private video of an individual was recorded and how it was made public.


    Security, restricted entry

    Ahead of the hearing, the SC beefed up security on its premises.

    The SC office explained that in view of the limited seating capacity in the Courtroom No 1, it has decided that the entry into the courtroom will be regulated through special security passes which will be issued by the SP (security) Supreme Court. Only the petitioners or respondents whose cases were fixed will be allowed to enter the court premises. However, advocates and journalists who regularly come for the proceedings will be exempted from passes.

    No cellular phone was allowed inside the courtroom.


    Video leak controversy

    On July 6, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz opened a Pandora’s box with a startling claim that the judge "confessed" he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference. A video containing the judge’s alleged confession during his conversation with a ‘sympathiser’ of the PML-N, Nasir Butt, was screened during a hurriedly called presser at the party’s provincial headquarters in Model Town.

    The next day, the judge had denied being under any pressure, but admitted that Nasir Butt was an acquaintance.

    The controversy continued to make news as Maryam released two more video clips "in support" of the first one.

    On the morning of his ouster, judge Malik gave in a letter to IHC acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in which he said that the videos shared by Maryam were fake. He also filed an affidavit before the IHC chief justice along with his letter.

    Justice Farooq perused the letter but decided to relieve judge Malik without conducting an inquiry since he is an official of the subordinate judiciary of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

    The IHC judge directed the registrar office to write a letter to the law ministry regarding relieving judge Malik of his post and repatriating him to the parent department, the LHC.

    Shortly after the announcement, Maryam called for the verdict in the Al Azizia reference against her father to be declared void.
     
  2. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Video Scandal case : supreme court seeks recommendations over demand to form commission.
    July 16, 2019


     
  3. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    FIA arrests man allegedly involved in judge Arshad Malik video leak controversy
    Shakeel Qarar
    July 17, 2019

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    The suspect has been shifted into FIA custody on a two-day physical remand. — DawnNewsTV/File

    The Federal Investigation Agency's Cyber Crime Wing on Wednesday arrested Mian Tariq Mahmood, a man allegedly involved in the video scandal surrounding accountability judge Arshad Malik.

    Tariq, who was arrested from Islamabad, was presented before a civil judge, who approved his two-day physical remand. The suspect was shifted to FIA custody after the remand was approved.

    Judge Malik — who had in December last year sentenced Nawaz to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship Investment case — has been at the centre of controversy since July 6, when PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz alleged that he had been "blackmailed" into giving the verdict against Nawaz Sharif.

    According to judge Malik's affidavit — presented to the Islamabad High Court chief justice as a rebuttal to Maryam Nawaz's press conference — Mahmood, an old acquaintance of his, had been the one to show him a "secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position" that was shot while the judge was serving in Multan.

    The judge said that this video was later used by Nawaz Sharif's long-time supporter Nasir Butt to blackmail him.

    The video scandal

    To substantiate her claims at the press conference, Maryam had played a secretly recorded video that she claimed featured a conversation between Nasir Butt, a man she described as a loyal fan of her father, and judge Malik.

    Maryam alleged that the judge had contacted Nasir and told him that he was feeling "guilt" and "having nightmares" after announcing the "unjust" verdict against Nawaz, so he invited Nasir for a meeting at his residence, where the video was recorded.

    Maryam claimed that, in the video, judge Malik had pointed out the flaws in Nawaz's corruption trial that he wanted to be conveyed to Nawaz's lawyers. The judge acknowledged that he had been "blackmailed" and "pressured" into issuing a judgement against the PML-N supremo, Maryam claimed.

    The veracity of the contents of the video or any of the claims made by Maryam have not been independently verified by Dawn.com.

    A day after the press conference, judge Malik rejected Maryam's allegations saying that the former premier was convicted on the basis of evidence.

    The judge, in a press release issued on July 7, said that he had seen the press conference as well as the video attributed to him.

    "Serious allegations were made against me; it was a conspiracy to affect my credibility as well as that of my institution and my family. Therefore, I want to present the facts.

    "I am a resident of Rawalpindi where before becoming a judge, I worked as a lawyer. The individual shown in the video, Nasir Butt, is also from the same city and is an old acquaintance. Nasir Butt and his brother Abdullah Butt have met me many times at numerous instances.

    "The video shown in Maryam Safdar sahiba's press conference is not only contrary to the facts but it is also a despicable attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context." Malik also demanded legal action against those behind the move.

    The controversy continued to make news as Maryam released two more video clips "in support" of the first one.

    On July 12, a petition requesting a thorough probe for determining the truth in the matter landed in the Supreme Court.

    “In these circumstances and surrounding realities, it is most respectfully prayed that an inquiry may be ordered to be conducted so as to determine the truth,” argued the petition moved by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza through Advocate Chaudhry Munir Sadiq.

    The same day, the Islamabad High Court decided to remove accountability judge Arshad Malik from his post.

    On July 12, judge Malik also gave in a letter to IHC acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in which he said that the videos shared by Maryam were fake. He also filed an affidavit before the IHC chief justice along with his letter.


    The affidavit

    In the affidavit, the judge claimed that he was offered bribes and threatened with dire consequences by PML-N representatives initially to force him into issuing verdicts in favour of Nawaz in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments references, and later to coerce him into resigning from his office. He said he refused to accept the bribes and give in to the alleged threats.

    During the arguments stage of the references' trial, the judge said he was again approached by Janjua with a "financial offer" from Nawaz of Rs 100 million but that he refused the offer.

    The offer was shortly followed by a "thinly veiled threat of physical harm and intimidation" by Nasir Butt, the PML-N 'sympathiser' who recorded the video shared by Maryam Nawaz that started the controversy, the judge claimed.

    He said once he convicted Nawaz in the Al-Azizia reference and acquitted him in the Flagship reference, Butt and Janjua allegedly started blackmailing him using a compromising video of his.

    In the affidavit, Malik claimed that a man named Mian Tariq, who was an old acquaintance of his, had shown him a "secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position" that was shot while the judge was serving in Multan.

    Using "the Multan video" as a threat, Butt then forced judge Malik to accompany him to Jati Umra and tell Nawaz in person that he had convicted the PML-N supremo "under immense pressure from influential quarters", the judge claimed.

    The meeting took place on April 6, but the judge said instead of saying what was demanded by Butt, Malik told Nawaz that he was convicted in the Al-Azizia reference based on merit.


    PML-N seeks annulment of Al-Azizia verdict

    After judge Malik's removal, PML-N, on July 13, requested the Supreme Court to intervene and declare the judge's decision in the Al Azizia reference against party supremo Nawaz Sharif null and void and order his release from jail.

    PML-N president and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said the decision to remove the judge and the videos related to the facts regarding his verdict against the former premier were before everyone. In this situation, he said, “the decision against Nawaz Sharif stands null and void after the removal of accountability judge Malik. Now to keep Nawaz Sharif in jail is illegal.”

    The Supreme Court, on July 16, took up three petitions seeking a thorough probe into the video leak controversy.
     
  4. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    SJC issues two notices to Justice Faez Isa

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Thursday issued two show-cause notices to the Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly holding undeclared foreign properties and sending letters to President Arif Alvi.

    Justice Isa is mandated to give his response on the show cause notice within 14 days. Sindh High Court Judge Justice KK Agha has also been served a show-cause notice forowning undeclared properties abroad. Both the show-cause notices were issued on July 16. Justice Isa has received both the show-cause notices.

    A five-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Peshawar High Court's Justice Waqar Ahmed and Sindh High Court's Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh, will hear resume hearing of the references filed against the two judges. During the last sitting of the SJC, the court had sent notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan and other parties. The SJC is the only constitutional authority mandated by Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan to conduct inquiries into allegations of incapacity or misconduct against the superior judiciary members.
     
  5. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    'Will not take a leap in the dark': SC orders FIA to finish judge video leak probe within 3 weeks
    July 23, 2019

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    Accountability judge Arshad Malik. — DawnNewsTV
    The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to complete its probe in the video leaks controversy involving accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik within three weeks, saying it wants to ascertain the truth of all allegations against the judge before proceeding in the matter.

    The directions came as a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, resumed the hearing of three identical petitions on the video scandal involving judge Malik, all seeking a directive from the apex court for the constitution of an inquiry committee or a judicial commission. The petitions have been filed by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza, Sohail Akhtar and Tariq Asad.

    Attorney General Anwar Mansoor, who was assisting the top court in deciding the appropriate course of action, opposed the petitions and the formation of a judicial commission to probe the matter, saying there was no need for its constitution because a separate forum exists to deal with such matters.

    But the chief justice made it clear that the SC would examine all evidence to prevent any loss being incurred by anyone. He said the court was considering different options — the last of which would be setting up a judicial commission — but would take a decision after perusing the inquiry report.

    "We will not take a leap in the dark," Justice Khosa said, observing that some people might want the apex court to rush through the matter.

    The chief justice observed that the judicial commission, if constituted, can only give its opinion on the matter and not pass any judgement.

    "Only the high court can give relief to Nawaz Sharif," he said, adding that the high court can order a re-trial of the Al-Azizia reference and even decide the matter itself after examining the evidence.

    He regretted the fact that despite the serious allegations exchanged between different sides in the matter, no party had approached the relevant high court with an application.

    The chief justice wondered whether the SC should interfere in the matter at all. "Would the intervention have any benefit or will it only generate headlines?" he asked.

    One of the questions being examined by the apex court, according to Justice Khosa, was whether it was appropriate for judge Malik to visit Nawaz's residence after sentencing him.

    Justice Bandial remarked that the SC had to ascertain the truth of allegations levelled by both sides while maintaining the sanctity of the court.

    The bench subsequently directed the FIA to complete its probe in the matter within three weeks. The attorney general was asked by the court to ensure the inquiry is completed in a timely manner.

    The attorney general earlier informed the court that the FIA had arrested Mian Tariq Mahmood, a central suspect whom judge Malik had accused of making a controversial video concerning him.

    According to the law officer, Mahmood had sold the video to a man named Saleem Raza, but he (Mahmood) claimed that the cheque he received in exchange for the video could not be cashed.

    The hearing of the petitions was adjourned for three weeks.

    The scandal

    The matter of the video had surfaced earlier this month after PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz released a secretly filmed clip that showed judge Malik telling a man — identified by her as Nasir Butt — that he had been "blackmailed" and "pressured" to issue a verdict against Nawaz Sharif that landed the former prime minister in jail in the Al-Azizia reference.

    In a rebuttal, Malik said that Butt had forced him to make the aforementioned claims by using a “secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position”, which was shot in Multan, as a threat.

    Judge Malik had already been removed by the Islamabad High Court on July 12 over the scandal following weeklong consultations, including with the Supreme Court.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1495736/w...-finish-judge-video-leak-probe-within-3-weeks
     
  6. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Justice Isa to challenge presidential reference in SC


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    ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa is likely to challenge the presidential reference against him in the Supreme Court by invoking Article 184(3) of the Constitution, sources confided to The News.

    Justice Isa is facing the presidential reference in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). Justice Isa held a detailed discussion with senior lawyer and former attorney general for Pakistan Munir A Malik about what potential legal option could be adopted to defend his case.

    Malik has recently returned from California, US to plead the case of Justice Isa. Sources confirmed that after thorough deliberations, Malik advised Justice Isa to invoke Article 184(3) of the Constitution and challenge the reference in the Supreme Court.

    Senior lawyers, including Hamid Khan, Kamran Murtaza, Ali Ahmed Kurd, Rashid A Rizvi and other prominent lawyers may be included in Justice Isa’s panel.

    President Arif Alvi had filed references against Justice Isa and Justice KK Agha of Sindh High Court, alleging that they owned properties in London but they did not disclose them in their tax returns.

    Justice Isa however rejected the allegations saying the properties were owned by his children. Since the filing of reference, lawyers have extended maximum support to Justice Isa. Majority of legal wizards have advised Justice Isa to invoke Article 184(3) of the Constitution. They were of the view that a test case of 2007 of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry verses President Pervez Musharraf was available wherein a 13-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice (R) Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday quashed the presidential reference against Justice Chaudhry on the basis of mala fide intentions.

    It is to recall that both Justice Chaudhry as well as other petitioners, including the Supreme Court Bar Association and Pakistan Bar Council, had also challenged the presidential reference filed with the Supreme Court against him.

    Later on, a larger bench quashed the reference, declaring that it [the reference] was filed on mala fide intentions. The SJC has conducted its three hearings and issued a show cause notice to Justice Isa.

    However, sources said after deliberating with Munir A Malik he will soon file a petition with the Supreme Court invoking Article 184(3) of the Constitution. Meanwhile, three eminent lawyers have moved a resolution to the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) requesting to file a petition with the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, challenging the presidential reference filed against Justice Isa on the grounds that it was filed on mala fide intentions.
     
  7. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    ISLAMABAD: Senior Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is facing a presidential reference, has sought guidance of prominent lawyer Munir A Malik to defend himself in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

    Justice Faez Isa the other day filed replies in the SJC to two show-cause notices on the non-disclosure of family’s foreign properties in the wealth statements and writing letters to the president.

    President Arif Alvi had filed references against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha of Sindh High Court, alleging that both the judges did not disclose their foreign properties in the wealth statements. Justice Faez Isa had already rejected the allegations, saying the properties in London were in the name of his children who are living there as well. The SJC, the forum established under Article 209 of the Constitution for the accountability of judges of the superior courts for misconduct, after conducting three hearing in the presidential references had issued two show-cause notices to Justice Faez Isa seeking his replies in 14 days. After filing his replies, Justice Faez Isa contacted senior lawyer and former attorney general Munir A Malik, seeking his guidance how to proceed further to defend himself in the presidential reference.

    Munir A Malik, who has recently returned from abroad, confirmed that Justice Faez Isa had approached him and sought his guidance. "Justice Faez Isa had contacted me, sending the copies of the replies he had submitted to two show-cause notices in the SJC," Munir A Malik told The News. He said that Justice Faez Isa had sent him copies of his replies by post.

    “Let me go through this then I will give my opinion what could be done to proceed with further," Munir A Malik said.

    He said that after going through the said replies in detail, he will meet Justice Faez Isa and will give his opinion as to what legal option could be adopted for his defence in the instant matter. It is pertinent mention here that Justice Faez Isa is also considering to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the reference by invoking Article 184(3) of the Constitution.
     
  8. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Justice Isa smells a rat in presidential reference
    Nasir
    August 08, 2019

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    Justice Qazi Faez Isa challenged in the Supreme Court on Wednesday the filing of a presidential reference against him, wondering if it was moved by a proxy with mala fide intention to achieve a collateral purpose. — Photo courtesy Supreme Court website/File
    ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa challenged in the Supreme Court on Wednesday the filing of a presidential reference against him, wondering if it was moved by a proxy with mala fide intention to achieve a collateral purpose.

    Drafted and filed by Justice Isa himself under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, the 71-page petition sought a declaration that the in-camera hearing on the references by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) was without lawful authority and in breach of the fundamental rights.

    “This petition is not just about a judge but sends a signal to all, that they too will be subjected to the same treatment if they persist in acting independently and decide cases according to the Constitution and the law by disregarding vested interest,” said Justice Isa, himself a Supreme Court judge, in the petition. It also sought a restraining order against the SJC till the disposal of the petition since the references undermined the independence of the judiciary.

    While rebutting the allegations of possessing properties in the United Kingdom in the name of his wife and children, Justice Isa criticised the “unreasonable conduct” of SJC Secretary Arbab Mohammad Arif, who happens to be the Supreme Court registrar, and asked why Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar, chairman of the Assets Recovery Unit, and Zia-ul-Mustafa Nasim, the ARU’s legal expert, were carrying out the functions of bureaucracy when they were not civil servants.

    In his 71-page petition, the judge wants SC to declare in-camera hearing on references by SJC without lawful authority

    “To the best of petitioner’s knowledge both these gentlemen are not civil servants; they are also not bound by the rules of confidentiality applicable to the civil servants,” Justice Isa contended, adding that those not in the service of Pakistan could not be assigned functions of the executive.

    The petition wanted to know about the political affiliation of the two gentlemen, especially with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf or its coalition partners, wondering whether both acted independently. “By whom these two gentlemen have been employed? What were the terms and conditions of employment of these two gentlemen? Are both Pakistani, foreign or dual nationals? What were the past and present political affiliations of the two gentlemen and what were the income status, wealth tax status and history of the two with supporting documents, before and during the present employment?” it asked.

    The petition alleged that the SJC secretary had discriminated against Justice Isa by granting every conceivable advantage to the government and two complainants [of private reference]. It said the secretary did not disclose to the SJC that a large number of complaints/references — long before the two references against Justice Isa — were still pending and listed both references out of turn before the council. “As per normal procedure, the rule of first-in-first-out applies and the earlier matters must be listed and decided before subsequent ones, unless of course on account of some urgency,” the petition argued.

    It said the SJC did not direct an out-of-turn hearing of the two references, alleging that the secretary, who is a government servant on deputation, must have been pressurised to list both references before all other pending ones. Thus without seeking an order from the council and without giving any reason, the normal procedure was not followed by the SJC secretary when Article 10A guaranteed due process.

    The petition asked if the SJC had the jurisdiction to consider the conduct of judge’s wife, examine her income tax history and applicability or non-applicability of Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

    Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2019
     
  9. alibaz

    alibaz SENIOR MEMBER

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    I suspect he is not finding way out in SJC and now he intends politicizing the issue. Qazi needs to reply what has been alleged and who knows he himself is the smelly rat.
     
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  10. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    SC reserves verdict on petitions regarding judge Arshad Malik video scandal
    .August 20, 2019
    ,
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    A screengrab from a video shared by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz shows judge Arshad Malik (R) in conversation with PML-N supporter Nasir Butt (L). — DawnNewsTV/File
    The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on three identical petitions on a video scandal involving accountability court judge Arshad Malik. The petitions seek a formal directive from the apex court for the constitution of an inquiry committee or a judicial commission.

    A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard the case. Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon were also present to argue the matter.

    During the hearing, Chief Justice Khosa discussed the interim report submitted by the FIA director general earlier today. The top judge observed that the case concerned two videos — one through which the judge was blackmailed, and the other which was aired at Maryam Nawaz's press conference.

    The bench, however, raised questions about the authenticity of the videos in question. The chief justice noted that judge Malik had already admitted that the "objectionable video" was real. "But how will the video, which was shown in the press conference, be proven as authentic?" he asked.

    "The report says that the audio of the video was recorded separately. During the press conference, the video also had subtitles. It seems like someone has tampered with the video," the chief justice observed.

    The attorney general told the bench that a forensic examination of judge Malik's "objectionable video" had been carried out but said that it would be "very difficult" to ascertain the authenticity of the clip that was shown in Maryam's press conference, because it was taken from YouTube.

    Justice Khosa said that experts should be consulted to find out if a forensic examination of the video can be done.

    Judge Malik's appointment
    Chief Justice Khosa also noted that as per the interim report, Nasir Janjua, one of the main suspects in the case, had said he had been instrumental in the judge's appointment. The chief justice asked if the individual who had taken the final decision to appoint judge Malik had come forward, to which the attorney general responded in the negative. He told the top court that Malik had been posted to the accountability court on March 13, 2018.

    "This would mean that after the Panama Papers verdict [was issued in July 2017], the government at the time had appointed judge Arshad Malik," the chief justice observed.

    The chief justice then inquired if any complaint, saying that the video was being used to someone's benefit, had been submitted. The attorney general answered in the negative.

    "This video can only benefit someone if it is produced [as evidence] in a case," Justice Khosa remarked.

    The attorney general said that neither Tariq Mahmood nor Janjua, the "two important characters" in the scandal, were in the country. He added that "everything cannot be said in an open court".

    'Judge Malik's behaviour shamed all judges'
    The top judge also asked why Malik had not been relieved of his duties and sent back to Lahore until now, stating: "By not sending Arshad Malik to Lahore, [he] is being provided protection."

    The attorney general said that Malik had been stopped from leaving due to the ongoing investigation.

    "What kind of a judge visits a person he has convicted? The judge's behaviour has caused shame to all [other] judges," Justice Khosa said.

    "Why are you taking this matter lightly? The judge himself is admitting he had connections with that family.

    "We can look into the matter, as far as his [Malik's] character is concerned. You [the AG] investigate if a forensic examination of the video can be carried out," Justice Khosa said.

    Video leak case
    Maryam had in July come out with explosive claims regarding the accountability judge who convicted and sentenced her father Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia corruption case. She had aired a video at the press conference where she made those claims and said that the entire judicial process had been severely compromised.

    The video in question had shown the accountability judge who sentenced Nawaz Sharif to prison in the Al Azizia reference, judge Arshad Malik, allegedly speaking to a PML-N supporter about the case.

    Following her press conference, other PML-N leaders had also accused judge Malik of delivering the verdict "under pressure". The judge, however, denied being under any pressure, making counter allegations against Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N for "bribing and threatening" him.

    Amid deepening political and judicial crises, the Islamabad High Court, after consultation with the apex court, had removed the accountability court judge on July 12, following which the Law Ministry had temporarily barred Arshad Malik from working.
     
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    IHC repatriates judge Arshad Malik to Lahore High Court for disciplinary proceedings
    Inamullah Khattak
    August 22, 2019

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    Former accountability court judge Arshad Malik. — DawnNewsTV
    The Islamabad High Court on Thursday repatriated former accountability court judge Arshad Malik, who is at the centre of a video leak scandal that grabbed headlines last month, to his parent department, the Lahore High Court, for the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him.

    The IHC on July 12 had removed Judge Malik from his post amid a controversy surrounding a leaked videotape showing his purported confession that he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.

    The judge had denied the allegations, saying there was no pressure on him to convict Sharif and that the videos shown by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz of his alleged confession at a press conference were "fake and based on lies".

    A notification issued by the IHC today stated that the disclosures and admissions made by Judge Malik in his press release issued on July 07 — a day after Maryam's presser — and in an affidavit he submitted to the IHC on July 11 to deny the allegations against him, prima facie "constitute acts of misconduct and violation of the code of conduct, which warrant initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him".

    Due to the above reasons, the notification further said, the IHC chief justice has issued orders to place Judge Malik under suspension and repatriate him to the LHC with immediate effect, "for disciplinary proceedings to be conducted in accordance with law".
     
  12. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    SC admonishes judge Malik for misconduct; says video of no legal use to Nawaz unless verified by IHC
    Haseeb Bhatti
    August 23, 2019

    [​IMG]
    A screengrab from a video shown by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz at a press conference shows judge Arshad Malik (R) in conversation with PML-N supporter Nasir Butt (L). — DawnNewsTV/File
    The Supreme Court on Friday wrapped up a set of petitions on a video leak scandal involving former accountability court judge Arshad Malik.

    "We find that it may not be an appropriate stage for this court to interfere in the matter of the relevant video and its effects" since the video may have relevance to a criminal appeal presently sub judice before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the judges said in the detailed verdict.

    The verdict, authored by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, noted that five main issues needed to be attended by the top court; among them was the possible impact of the video — if proven to be authentic — on the ruling by judge Malik in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference that had put away former premier Nawaz Sharif last year.

    Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) formed a committee to proceed with an inquiry against judge Malik.

    The top judge, in the Supreme Court judgement, had heavily reprimanded judge Malik for his conduct.

    "His admitted conduct emerging from that press release and the affidavit stinks and the stench of such stinking conduct has the tendency to bring bad name to the entire judiciary as an institution," the judgement read.

    "His sordid and disgusting conduct has made the thousands of honest, upright, fair and proper judges in the country hang their heads in shame," the CJP said.

    The five issues addressed by the top court are as follows:

    1. Relevant forum for consideration in Nawaz case

    The first issue that the SC said needed to be discussed was regarding the relevant forum or court which could presently attend to the video for any "meaningful consideration" in the Nawaz case.

    The chief justice noted that following conviction and sentencing by a trial court, an appeal submitted by Nawaz against the conviction was pending before the IHC.

    Therefore, the court said that there "cannot be two opinions" that the IHC could alone at present "maintain, alter or set aside such conviction and sentence on the basis of the evidence brought on the record".

    "Any commission constituted by the government or by this court, any inquiry or investigation conducted by the police or by any other agency and any probe into the matter by any other institution or body can only render an opinion in the matter of the relevant video which opinion is treated by the law as irrelevant and it cannot per se be treated as evidence for the benefit of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his appeal pending before the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad."

    "The relevant video cannot be of any legal benefit to Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif unless it is properly produced before the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad in the pending appeal, its genuineness is established and then the same is proved in accordance with the law for it to be treated as evidence in the case," the verdict read.

    2. Establishing video as 'genuine piece of evidence'

    The judgement said that with the advancement of science and technology, it was now possible to conduct a forensic examination to determine whether an audio tape or a video was genuine and whether it had been edited, doctored or tampered with.

    It was noted that judge Malik had "asserted" that the conversation mentioned in the video had been "distorted and twisted". The verdict added that as it had become easy to alter videos and audio tapes, it had become increasingly unsafe to rely on them as evidence without a forensic examination, audit or test.

    "The standard of proof required in a criminal case is beyond reasonable doubt and any realistic doubt about an audio tape or video not being genuine may destroy its credibility and reliability."

    3. If genuine, how will video be proven before court of law?
    The judgement listed numerous requirements in order to prove an audio tape or a video before a court of law.

    Among others, the requirements include:

    • No audio tape or video can be relied upon by a court until the same is proved to be genuine and not tampered with or doctored

    • A forensic report prepared by an analyst of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency in respect of audio tape or video mentioned in the petitions is per se admissible in evidence

    • Accuracy of the recording must be proved and satisfactory evidence has to be produced so as to rule out any possibility of tampering with the record

    • The person recording the conversation or event has to be produced and must produce the audio tape or video himself

    • An audio tape or video produced before a court as evidence ought to be clearly audible or viewable

    • The source of an audio tape or video becoming available has to be disclosed
    According to the judgement, an appellate court can take additional evidence under Section 428 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

    "It goes without saying that in such a case the relevant video may be taken as (additional) evidence only after complying with the requirements detailed above for proving a video before a court of law," the judgement read.

    4. Effect on the Nawaz case
    According to the judgement, if the high court arrives at the conclusion that the trial process and the evidence recorded during the trial were not affected by the conduct of judge Malik, then the IHC would have the option "either to reappraise the evidence itself or and decide the appeal on its merits after reaching its own conclusions [...] or to remand the case to the trial court for re-deciding the case after hearing of arguments of the parties on the basis of the evidence already recorded".

    The chief justice said that they did not want to comment further on these aspects as the choices available to the IHC was within the jurisdiction and discretion of the high court, and they could exercise such choices on the basis of the facts found and the conclusions the court reaches.

    5. Conduct of judge Arshad Malik

    The top court said that judge Malik's conduct had the tendency to bring a "bad name to the entire judiciary as an institution".

    "His admitted conduct emerging from that press release and the affidavit stinks and the stench of such stinking conduct has the tendency to bring bad name to the entire judiciary as an institution," the judgement read.

    "His sordid and disgusting conduct has made the thousands of honest, upright, fair and proper judges in the country hang their heads in shame," the CJP said in the written verdict, adding that they hoped that the Lahore High Court would initiate the appropriate departmental disciplinary proceedings against judge Malik.

    Concluding the verdict, the SC bench noted that it may not be the appropriate stage for the top court to interfere in the matter, particularly because the video may have relevance to a criminal appeal pending before the IHC.

    "A criminal investigation is already being conducted into the matter by the Federal Investigation Agency, some other offences or illegalities under some other laws referred to by the learned attorney general might also entail inquiries or investigations by the competent agencies or fora and any probe into the matter by a commission to be constituted by the government or by this court may end up only with an opinion which may have no relevance or admissibility in the relevant appeal pending before the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad," the judgement read.

    'Is govt protecting judge?'

    Last month, at an explosive press conference, Nawaz's daughter and PML-N leader Maryam had shared a video containing an alleged confession by judge Malik that he had been pressurised and blackmailed to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference.

    Judge Malik, however, denied the allegations.

    As the video controversy continued to make news with Maryam releasing two more video clips "in support" of the first one, the IHC removed judge Malik from his post in July. On Thursday, the IHC repatriated him to his parent department, the LHC, so that disciplinary proceedings could be initiated against him.

    The petitions filed by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza, Sohail Akhtar and Tariq Asad had sought the constitution of a probe committee or a judicial commission to look into matter.

    A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Khosa, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the petitions.

    Malik's repatriation to LHC on Thursday came on the heels of the SC's August 20 hearing in which the court had termed the conduct of the judge "shameful" and asked why the law ministry had not transferred him back to the LHC.

    The apex court had observed that it appeared that the law ministry was giving refuge to the controversial judge.

    Read: Is govt protecting video tape scandal judge, wonders CJP

    The top court had reserved its verdict on the petitions after an assurance was extended by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor that Malik would be repatriated to the LHC.

    LHC forms inquiry committee
    Chief Jusitce of the LHC Sardar Shamim Khan has summoned a meeting of the court's administrative committee on August 26 to discuss the future course of action against judge Malik, public relations officer Arif Dar said.

    Malik had reported back to the LHC today, Dar said, as per the orders issued by the Islamabad High Court.

    The LHC registrar said that Malik will face an inquiry pertaining to the controversial video released by Maryam Nawaz. The inquiry will be conducted in light of the Supreme Court verdict issued today.

    Video leak controversy

    On July 6, Maryam opened a Pandora’s box with a startling claim that the judge "confessed" he had been "pressurised and blackmailed" to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference. A video containing the judge's alleged confession during his conversation with a 'sympathiser' of the PML-N, Nasir Butt, was screened during a hurriedly called presser at the party’s provincial headquarters in Model Town.

    The next day, in a press release, the judge had denied being under any pressure, but admitted that Nasir Butt was an acquaintance.
    Acting IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq summoned the accountability judge twice and then directed him to submit an affidavit to explain his position.

    Judge Malik in his affidavit had said that he had been blackmailed by PML-N supporters because of an “immoral video” and admitted that he had met Nawaz at his Jati Umra residence and Hussain Nawaz in Saudi Arabia.

    Justice Farooq decided to relieve Malik without conducting an inquiry since he was an official of the subordinate judiciary of the LHC. He directed the registrar office to write a letter to the law ministry regarding relieving judge Malik of his post and repatriating him to the parent department, the LHC.

    Shortly after this decision was announced, Maryam called for the verdict in the Al Azizia reference against her father to be declared void.

    Meanwhile, judge Malik lodged a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency which arrested an accused namely Mian Tariq Mehmood on a charge of recording an “immoral video” of the judge.

    Judge Malik, in Dec 2018, had handed the ousted premier seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia reference. He, however, had acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments.

    Nawaz is currently incarcerated at Kot Lakhpat jail while his sentence in the Avenfield corruption reference — which he was convicted in on July 6 last year — has been suspended.
     
  13. ghazi52

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    Justice Isa petitions Supreme Court to constitute full court bench to hear reference
    Haseeb Bhatti
    August 26, 2019

    [​IMG]
    Justice Isa in his petition expresses distrust in Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
    Justice Qazi Faez Isa — who is currently facing a misconduct reference filed by the president against him in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) — has in a new application requested the Supreme Court to constitute a full court bench to hear his petition against the SJC's proceedings.

    In support of his argument, Justice Isa has contended that the SJC "expressed bias" against him in its verdict on Reference 427 (a second petition) and has therefore lost its credibility to give him a fair hearing.

    Justice Isa contradicted by the CJP
    The SJC had, last Monday, dismissed a misconduct reference against Justice Isa filed by a petitioner who had accused the justice of acting inappropriately by writing to the president and leaking those letters to the media.

    The SJC in its decision had noted that though Justice Isa had admitted the writing of three letters to the president, there was nothing to show he had also leaked them to the media.

    Further, "The purpose or the contents of such letters might appear to some to be oblique or objectionable, but such letters were merely private letters not shown to be meant or intended to be read by anybody other than the addressee and those to whom they had been copied," the verdict had read.

    However, in the same verdict, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had contradicted a key position taken by Justice Isa in the said letters regarding his ignorance of the petition filed against him.

    Justice Khosa stated that he had personally provided Justice Isa an opportunity to read the reference before the latter wrote to the president.

    After the reference was received, "The respondent judge was [...] contacted by the chief justice [...] with a request to come over to the chief justice’s chamber, which the respondent judge was kind enough to do. The chief justice then informed the respondent judge about receipt of the reference from the president and asked him to read the same for his information. The respondent judge then sat down and read the entire reference and took his time in doing so."

    While reading the allegations against him, Justice Isa had asked for a paper and pencil for taking notes, which were supplied to him by the chief justice personally, according to the judgement.

    The decision had noted that, "The three letters written by [Justice Isa] to the president clearly stated that till the writing of those letters, the respondent judge did not know whether any reference had actually been filed by the president against him or not and in any case he was unaware of the contents of and the allegations levelled in any such reference, if filed.

    Yet the aforementioned meeting of Justice Isa with Chief Justice Khosa "shows that the respondent judge not only knew about filing of the reference against him but also about the actual contents thereof and the allegations levelled therein before he had started writing successive letters to the president on the subject, professing his ignorance about the same", the verdict had noted.

    Justice Isa wants full court to hear reference instead
    Perhaps in reaction to this statement, Justice Isa in his new petition argues that the Supreme Judicial Council and its members be deemed no longer competent to hear the presidential reference against him.

    Justice Isa has also requested the court to direct the SJC to dismiss the reference in question on the basis of the complainant's failure to establish the allegation made against him, while striking down everything else (including the statement contradicting his stance) from the order.

    He has also sought that the Supreme Court block the SJC's order from being published in any legal publication, and if it is, then his application against it should also be published.

    Justice Isa also seeks that the court initiate or direct the appropriate action be taken against the complainant of Reference number 427, including the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against him.

    Justice Isa argues that his application "raises very important constitutional questions" about the freedom of the judiciary, the formation of an independent viewpoint by the president of Pakistan, obtaining the Federal Cabinet's approval and matters of surveillance and the manner and method of collecting evidence against a judge of the Supreme Court, and should therefore be heard by the full court.

    He has argued that a judicial precedent for constituting a bench comprising the full court is already available in Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry versus the President of Pakistan.

    The references against Justice Isa
    A reference had been instituted in May this year against Justice Isa accusing the judge of concealing his properties in the United Kingdom, allegedly held in the name of his wife and children. The judge subsequently wrote three letters to President Arif Alvi, which were eventually leaked to the media, asking him to confirm whether the reports were true.

    The judge had complained that selective leaks of the reference to the media amounted to his character assassination, thus jeopardising his right to due process and fair trial. He had also sought a copy of the reference.

    Later, a lawyer from Lahore, Waheed Shahzad Butt, had filed a second reference before the SJC against Justice Isa for writing the said letters and leaking them to the media. In this second reference, filed under Article 209 of the Constitution, the judge was accused of violating the Code of Conduct for judges.
     
  14. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Presidential reference: Justice Isa had offered resignation to CJP

    Listen





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    ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court’s senior judge Qazi Faez Isa disclosed on Monday that he had offered his resignation in an "off the record meeting" with Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa soon after President Arif Alvi sent a reference against him (Justice Isa) to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for allegedly holding undeclared offshore assets.

    Justice Isa made this revelation in a petition seeking establishment of a full court bench to hear all petitions saying that the Supreme Judicial Council chairman and its members are biased towards his case.

    The petition was filed by Justice Isa in his personal capacity with the Supreme Court on Monday. ”Sir, without having your [CJ Khosa] confidence I would not want to continue as a judge. Sir, I am giving you a blank cheque to ask for my resignation if you have any doubt about my integrity,” Justice Isa stated in his 31-page petition.

    "The chief justice reposed confidence in the petitioner [Justice Isa] and said it was not for him to ask for the petitioner's resignation," the petition further read. Justice Isa further disclosed when he was leaving the chamber, the chief justice told him that "this meeting was off the record."

    The petitioner (Judge Isa) further revealed as he came away from the first meeting with the impression that the chief justice had had serious reservations about the maintainability of the complaint filed against him.

    About "off the record meeting," Justice Isa further revealed that the chief justice called the petitioner [Judge Isa] on the intercom and asked the petitioner to see him (first meeting) at this time the petitioner had no inkling that a complaint had been filed by the president against the petition.

    The chief justice received the petitioner with courtesy in his chamber and once both had sat down, the chief justice reached out for one of the two large brown envelopes lying on the table in front of him, retrieved the documents from one of them and handed them to the petitioner.

    The petitioner glanced through the documents and was shocked to read the utterly false allegations. Justice Isa briefed the chief justice over properties of his children and wife, during off the record meeting, and then he (chief justice) queried, "Whether a presidential reference can be dismissed without hearing it?"

    On the role of chief justice of Pakistan/chairman of the SJC, Justice Isa says he has nothing but respect and regard for Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and benefited from his rich experience and expertise in criminal matters.

    "It is, therefore, all the more puzzling that his lordship has disrespected, disparaged, denigrated and castigated the petitioner in the strongest of terms (as mentioned in paragraph 4 and 10 herein [Reference 427 order]. It is respectfully submitted that the language used by the chief justice/chairman in the council's order sadly demonstrates his lordships bias and prejudice towards the petitioner," further read the petition.

    Justice Isa also mentioned the SJC's order stated that "dragging the prime minister and his different spouses and children into the matter through such letters was in bad taste, to say the least in his petition.

    "It was the prime minister, who was dragging the petitioner's only spouse of over 36 years and his two adult children into the matter and not the other way around. The petitioner's wife and adult children were illegally surveilled, Pakistan's intelligence apparatus was deployed and public funds were also misused.

    The personal data records and documents of the petitioner wife's and adult children were probed, examined, scrutinised, dissected and analysed, including the confidential record maintained by the Nadra, FIA, Passport and Immigration Office, FBR and Ministry of Interior.

    The harvested mismatched information and documents were then used to paint half truth and put together a false reference. The order overlooks the said misdeeds of the prime minister and instead expresses all its sympathy for the prime minister," page 9-10 of the petition further stated.

    Justice Isa also revealed that he "straight away and without any hesitation acknowledged that he knew of the three properties which were owned by this wife and adult children and that the petitioner had no concern with them.

    The petitioner then said to the chief justice, “Why should I disclose the properties of my wife and children in my wealth tax statements, there is no requirement to do so' or words to this effect).

    Since the complaint relied upon section 116 (1) (b) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and as this provision was reproduced in the reference, the petitioner read it aloud, which stated that such disclosure is required only if a notice is sent by the commissioner and then too disclosure is only required to be made of the properties of a dependent spouse and dependent minor children.

    Then chief justice examined the said provision himself and enquired whether the petitioner had received any notice from the commissioner and the petitioner stated that he had not."
     
  15. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Judge Arshad Malik made OSD after suspension from Islamabad accountability court

    September 14, 2019


    [​IMG]
    Former accountability judge Muhammad Arshad Malik. — DawnNewsTV/File
    Former accountability judge Muhammad Arshad Malik — suspended last month over the video leak controversy — was posted as an officer on special duty (OSD) at the Lahore Sessions Court on Saturday.

    A notification to this effect was circulated by the registrar after approval by the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

    The Islamabad High Court on July 12 had removed Judge Malik from his post amid a controversy surrounding a leaked videotape showing his purported confession that he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia corruption reference.

    The judge had denied the allegations, saying there was no pressure on him to convict Sharif and that the videos shown by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz of his alleged confession at a press conference were "fake and based on lies".

    Judge Malik, on December 4, 2018, had handed ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif seven years in jail in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. He, however, had acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments.

    Following the controversy, the Islamabad High Court had repatriated him to the LHC, his parent department, for disciplinary proceedings.

    A notification issued by the IHC on August 22 stated that the disclosures and admissions made by Judge Malik in his press release issued on July 7 — a day after Maryam's presser — and in an affidavit he submitted to the IHC on July 11 to deny the allegations against him, prima facie "constitute acts of misconduct and violation of the code of conduct, which warrant initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him".

    According to the notification, due to the above reasons, the IHC chief justice had issued orders to place Judge Malik under suspension and repatriate him to the LHC with immediate effect, "for disciplinary proceedings to be conducted in accordance with law".