Ayyan case hearing: Judge indirectly rebuts Musharraf’s claim

CJP-designate Saqib Nisar says court never decides cases under pressure

Our Correspondent December 22, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court’s chief justice-designate Mian Saqib Nisar has observed that judiciary never decides any case under pressure.

“We have always given verdicts according to our conscience and there has been no pressure on the court while giving verdicts,” Justice Nisar said on Thursday.

He was commenting over supermodel Ayyan’s counsel Latif Khosa’s argument wherein he had cited General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s recent statement. Justice Nisar was heading the three-judge bench hearing Ayyan’s plea for early hearing of her case pending with the SHC.

While speaking to a news channel, the former president had claimed that former army chief General Raheel Sharif had helped him leave the country by keeping the government from pressuring the courts.

“These courts work under pressure behind the scenes and then give decisions. The army chief had a role to play in releasing the pressure behind the scenes,” Musharraf had said.

Khosa contended that the former president was a powerful man and managed to go abroad.  However, Justice Nasir took exception to the view and said the court never gives decision under pressure.

Meanwhile, the top court directed the Sindh High Court (SHC) to fix the pending case of supermodel Ayyan in the 2nd week of January. Ayyan was arrested on March 14, 2015 while she was boarding a flight to UAE from Islamabad airport and was charged with money laundering.

On July 16, 2015, Ayyan was released from jail on bail but her name continued to be on the Interior Ministry’s Exit Control List (ECL).

Khosa said the case of his client, seeking permission to go abroad, has been delayed for the last two years. “The apex court has twice directed the learned SHC to decide the pending case of my client but still it is not yet decided and my client is not allowed to go abroad,” he said.

Latif Khosa contended that the Interior Ministry has focused just on Ayyan’s departure from the country. “Had the ministry focused on eliminating terrorism, it would have been eliminated,” he said.  The court, however, asked the attorney to avoid such discussion in the court and directed the SHC to fix case of the supermodel in the 2nd week of January.

The additional attorney general informed the court that the SHC had already sent the matter to the Referee Judge which the SHC’s chief justice had appointed to hear the matter.

Khosa told the court that there was also a stay on the contempt case against secretary Interior. Let the verdict of Referee Judge come first then all other applications will be heard collectively, the court observed as it adjourned hearing till 3rd week of January 2017.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2016.


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