ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday summoned the advocate general for Islamabad and issued notices to the parties concerned in an appeal moved by PPP leader Rehman Malik against the Islamabad High Court’s decision in a case involving US blogger Cynthia Dawn Ritchie.
The IHC had rejected a verdict of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Nasir Javed Rana and ordered review of the case of Ms Ritchie who had sought registration of an FIR over her alleged rape by the petitioner.
Sardar Latif Khosa represented Mr Malik before a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam against the Sept 1, 2020 IHC order.
ADSJ Rana, in his capacity as Justice of Peace, had dismissed the petition of Ms Ritchie under Sections 22-A and 22-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (CrPC), seeking a directive for police to register a criminal case against Mr Malik.
Mr Malik has named as respondents Ms Ritchie, Justice of Peace, superintendent of police complaint, Islamabad, and station house officer (SHO) of Secretariat police, Islamabad.
The petition sought to set aside the high court order.
Rehman Malik wants sessions judge’s decision maintained
It is a question of fundamental public importance which required the authoritative pronouncement of the Supreme Court as the high court order would gravely effect the life, dignity, honour and respect of the petitioner, besides other high-profile dignitaries of the state and the sanctified fundamental rights granted under Articles 4, 9, 10A, 14 and 25 of the Constitution, the petition argued.
The petition alleged that Ms Ritchie, after a lapse of nine years, had lodged a complaint with the Islamabad Secretariat police station for registration of a criminal case against the petitioner with an addition that PPP workers were harassing her.
The police have entered the complaint into rozenamcha and started a probe in terms of Sections 155 and 157 of the CrPC.
The petition alleged that the high court had failed to appreciate that the only purpose of filing the complaint was to restrain the petitioner from taking any action against Ms Cynthia as chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior for her false accusation against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The high court also failed to appreciate that there was no supporting evidence like the medico-legal report, chemical examiner, DNA report or any other witness of the occurrence, the petition argued, adding that the Justice of Peace was absolutely within his right to dismiss the application by declaring it as false.
The high court also failed to appreciate that the complaint was lodged after a long and inordinate delay of more than nine years and how veracity and sanctity could be attached to it, especially when the same had been lodged after the petitioner took suo motu notice of her allegations against Ms Bhutto, the petition argued, adding that the complaint was based on solitary statement of the respondent which too was tainted with mala fide in view of the facts.
The petitioner argued that the high court did not give proper opportunity of hearing to the counsel for the petitioner and referred back the case for a review.
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020