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Video leak case: SC seeks recommendations over demand to form commission

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa while hearing a number of petitions seeking a probe into the video leak controversy that resulted in the removal of accountability judge Arshad Malik, has remarked that the court does not take suo-moto notices on anyone’s demands, reported ARY News on Tuesday.

Judge Malik, last year in Dec, had handed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case.

“The court does not take directions from anyone”, the CJP remarked.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa is hearing the petitions. Other members of the bench include Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

At the outset of the hearing, advocate Ishtiaq Mirza said PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz in her press conference on July 6, raised serious allegations over Judge Arshad Malik.

Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza and two other citizens moved separate petitions in the apex court seeking an investigation into the matter to “bring the truth to light.”

Read more: IHC decides to remove Judge Arshad Malik in video leak row

Mirza stated that the leaked video, as it appears, raised questions over the judiciary’s independence.

To this, the CJP remarked that the courts do not take suo-moto notices on demands. “It has become a culture to raise allegations against anyone without having concrete proofs”, he continued.

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”.

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

The court after issuing a notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan to seek his recommendations in the matter adjourned the hearing of the case till July 23.

Video leak controversy

On July 6, Maryam Nawaz, addressing a presser, had claimed that the judge was coerced into convicting her father in the case.

Read more: Was blackmailed by PML-N for favorable verdict: Judge Arshad Malik

Judge Malik had already dismissed the accusations leveled against him by PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, the petitioner said, adding the allegation of bribe offered to the judicial officer by the former prime minister’s sons to elicit a favourable verdict is of a serious nature.

Judge Arshad Malik was removed from his post on the recommendation of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) last week following a controversy revolving around the leaked videotapes purportedly showing him taking to a PML-N sympathiser.

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