Despite IHC’s direction, video leak judge not sent back to LHC

Updated July 21, 2019

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At present, Mohammad Arshad Malik is working neither under the IHC nor under the LHC. Instead, the law ministry has made him ‘officer on special duty’ with his status ‘awaiting posting’. — DawnNewsTV/File
At present, Mohammad Arshad Malik is working neither under the IHC nor under the LHC. Instead, the law ministry has made him ‘officer on special duty’ with his status ‘awaiting posting’. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Law and Justice has not repatriated Mohammad Arshad Malik, the former judge of the Islamabad accountability court who is allegedly involved in the video leak scandal, to his parent department — Lahore High Court (LHC) — despite clear directives of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to this effect.

Read: IHC decides to remove judge Arshad Malik after video leak controversy

At present, Mr Malik is working neither under the IHC nor under the LHC. Instead, the law ministry has made him ‘officer on special duty’ with his status ‘awaiting posting’.

Mr Malik as the judge of the accountability court convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference and awarded him seven years in jail.

In the video shown by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz during a press conference earlier this month, Mr Malik is seen telling a reported sympathiser of the PML-N that he had given the judgement against Mr Sharif under pressure.

The IHC registrar in a letter to the law ministry stated, “This letter may be treated as consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of this court as required under section 5A(4) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.”

While the law ministry kept the matter pending, Mr Malik has got registered an FIR (first information report) against those who secretly filmed him as well as senior leaders of the PML-N for releasing the video to media.

Meanwhile, the law ministry has stopped the judge of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court, Lahore, Masood Ahmed from hearing the case of PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah.

The law ministry without consultation with the LHC chief justice stopped the judge from working as special judge CNS on July 12 stating that “reportedly the said judge has issues regarding his impartiality and integrity”.

The law ministry in a letter to the LHC registrar said that “it is therefore, recommended that the matter may be placed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice LHC to immediately retrieve the services of above said judge and nominate another district and sessions judge for appointment as judge in the said court”.

When contacted, LHC spokesperson Arif Dar said that the special courts are under the administrative control of the federal government and they borrow services of judges from the respective high courts for these courts.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2019