- Ex-GB top judge Rana Shamim says he was under “extreme mental stress” while signing affidavit.
- Says he fell “victim to misunderstanding”.
- Says he “deeply regrets grave mistake”, seeks unconditional apology.
The former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan, Rana Shamim, submitted on Monday an unconditional written apology to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through his lawyer in a contempt of court case filed against him.
The case pertains to the publication of an affidavit containing serious allegations that ex-chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar attempted to influence a case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.
Shamim was formally charged by the IHC for allegations he levelled against former CJP in a signed affidavit in London.
Read more: ‘Saqib Nisar directed not to release Nawaz, Maryam before 2018 elections’, claims former CJ Gilgit-Baltistan
Shamim’s lawyer Abdul Latif presented a written apology that stated that the former GB top judge listened to ex-CJ Nisar’s views during a meeting with him over tea.
“[…] I had heard the words ‘senior puisne judge’ time and again from the [former] CJP during the gathering at the tea in the lawn,” Shamim wrote in the apology.
‘I was under extreme mental stress’: Rana Shamim
He stated that he was under extreme mental stress and was a “serious heart patient” aged 72 when he wrote down his affidavit “after approximately three long years” since the meeting that he mentioned above.
According to Shamim, this was why he fell “victim to a misunderstanding” and wrote the name Justice Aamir by mistake instead of “senior puisne judge” in the affidavit.
He said that he now “deeply regrets the grave mistake” that he inadvertently made and sought an unconditional apology for it.
Shamim further stated that he has been showing regret and has been apologising for the misunderstanding on his part, since the start of proceedings in the contempt case.
“I cannot even fathom of scandalising the very institution I have served so dearly and with the utmost professionalism,” he said.
“I reiterate that no sitting judge of this honorable court involves in controversy mentioned above. I tender unconditional apology to all sitting judges of this honourable court for the grave misunderstanding and mistake on my part and place myself at the mercy of this […] court with humble request to graciously forgive me,” the apology concluded.
IHC gives deadline to Rana Shamim to submit witness list
Last week, the IHC had issued a deadline for Shamim to submit the list of witnesses in his defence in the contempt of court case.
The high court said that if Shamim does not submit the list of witnesses by September 12, it will be assumed that his affidavit is not valid.
The prosecution has submitted a list of four witnesses, which does not include former chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court does not apply defamation laws to the judges based on mere criticism and will ensure a fair trial. “If that affidavit is true, it is Rana Shamim’s job to prove it right,” he added.
Read more: Rana Shamim, journalists prima facie committed contempt of court: IHC CJ
The chief justice said that Shamim wants to apologise, however, he should first prove what was said in the affidavit. “If he fails to prove it, then Rana Shamim should call it a misunderstanding and apologise. It will then be taken into consideration,” he said.
CJ Minallah remarked that the court will find what is true, adding that the court will not take any action against Shamim if he proves that he is right.