The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Wednesday, turned down former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Muhammad Shamim Rana’s son’s family petition against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers and leaders.
A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition moved by Anum Ahmed Rana wife of Ahmed Hasan Rana, Muhammad Hamza Rana son of Ahmed Hasan Rana, and Areeba Ahmed Rana daughter of Ahmad Hasan Rana seeking disqualification of the PTI leaders and ministers and contempt proceedings against other respondents.
During the hearing, Ahmed Hassan Rana advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioners. The court’s written order said it is obvious from a plain reading of the prayers of the petitioners that they relate to and are on behalf of Rana Mohammad Shamim.
The bench added it appears that the petitioners feel that the latter have been defamed by the respondents no 3 to 10. According to the order when Ahmad was asked that whether Rana Mohammad Shamim has instructed the petitioners to invoke the jurisdiction of the Court because only he could be treated as an aggrieved person under Article 199 of the Constitution, he answered in negative.
The IHC bench observed that the petitioners have framed questions in the memorandum of the petition and it has been, inter alia, asserted that on the basis of certain events, the petitioners are of the opinion that the “judiciary is under pressure from outside forces”.
When the court asked the counsel whether as a member of the Bar, he could point out any proceedings, order or constitution of benches of the IHC since 2018, which may have created doubts regarding its independence and that of its judges?
Rana unequivocally stated neither he nor the petitioners doubted the independence of this Court and its judges. Justice Minallah noted that such unfounded and misconceived aspersions cast on the independence of this Court and its judges for extraneous reasons, is definitely not in public interest because it erodes confidence of the people in the administration of justice.
“Moreover, it has profound consequences for the litigants and their right to fair trial. Independence and impartiality of a Court and its judges is not tested on the basis of misconceived and motivated narratives but, rather, manifested through its judgments,” maintained the judge.
He stated that the prayers of the petition are regarding alleged acts amounting to defamation of Rana Mohammad Shamim. The latter is not one of the petitioners and; therefore, they cannot be treated as aggrieved persons in the context of Article 199. The Court declared, “For the above reasons, the petition is meritless and, therefore, accordingly dismissed.”
The petitioners have cited federation through the Ministry of Law, the chairman Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Senator Faisal Vawda, Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhary, PTI leader Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, Farrukh Habib, Federal Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Anwar Mansoor Khan, former attorney general of Pakistan, and others as respondents.
The petition stated that it is mentally disturbing for the family of Rana Shamim’s son to face the questions such as “whether your father in law and grandfather has compromised his reputation for some perks and privileges awarded by Mian Muhammad Sharif to Justice (R) Rana Muhammad Shamim?”
They, therefore, prayed before the court to declare that respondents including Vawda, Fawad Chaudhary, Farrukh Habib, and Abbasi are liable to disqualified under article 63 1 (a) AND 62 1 (f) of the Constitution of Pakistan,1973 and declare that they are not sagacious, righteous and non-profligate and honest and ameen. They also requested the court to declare them liable to be disqualified under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 and for violating Rule 3 (i) (j) (k) and (l) of the PEMRA Code of Conduct, 2015.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 13, 2022.