Review petition seeks inquiry into judge video scandal

Updated September 21, 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
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

ISLAMABAD: One of the petitioners in the video scandal case filed in the Supreme Court on Friday a review plea seeking initiation of an inquiry as well as forensic analysis of the video clips against controversial judge Mohammad Arshad Malik of the accountability court.

Sohail Akhtar through his counsel Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry said in the review petition that the entire episode regarding the video scandal was part of a well-thought-out plan and conspiracy to destroy the judicial system for the benefit of a privileged few and to prejudice the judgements of courts.

The review petition was moved to seek annulment of the Supreme Court’s Aug 23 judgement which had disposed of a set of identical petitions in the video scandal case, all seeking a probe committee or judicial commission to look into the matter.

The SC verdict had regretted the conduct of judge Malik and said his July 7 press release and July 11 affidavit were damning indictments since the admitted conduct emerging from these two documents stinks and the stench of such stinking conduct has the tendency to bring a bad name to the entire judiciary as an institution.

The accountability court judge, it said, had unabashedly admitted his shady past in the documents and that he had skeletons in his cupboard for which he was vulnerable to blackmail. Moreover, the judge had been holding private meetings with sympathisers of the accused being tried by him; he was even threatened and inducements were offered to him during the trial, but he never reported the incidents to any superior authority or ever considered to recuse himself from the trial, the judgement had stated.

The review petition contended that it was a constitutional duty of the superior judiciary to order a thorough inquiry into the allegations levelled at a press conference by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz in Lahore as well as the video clips she had released since these were aimed at maligning the integrity of the judiciary.

Therefore, it said, the actual truth must be unearthed to help restore the image of the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and the fundamental rights of citizens and affected confidence in the institution.

The review petition regretted that judge Malik was in service but as OSD (officer on special duty) at Lahore when it was necessary to look into who was behind the entire episode which had caused great damage to the judiciary.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019