ISLAMABAD: In another major development involving accountability court judge Arshad Malik, the Supreme Court on Friday admitted a petition for preliminary hearing filed a day earlier requesting a thorough investigation into the controversial secretly taped video of the judge.
The development comes minutes after the Law Ministry barred Malik from serving as an accountability court judge after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) requested his removal over the Videogate scandal.
It is for the first time in the tenure of Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa that the top court has entertained constitutional petition without raising any objections and fixed the plea for hearing on July 16. A three-member bench, headed by the chief justice, will conduct the hearing.
The petition was moved by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza through his counsel Chaudhry Munir Sadiq on Thursday asking the court to take notice of the controversial video “targeting the judiciary” released by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz.
Last week, Maryam flanked by senior most party leaders had unveiled a video in news conference showing Islamabad Accountability Court-II Judge Arshad Malik confessing before a PML-N worker Nasir Butt that he was pressured into convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia case.
“In these circumstances and surrounding realities, it is most respectfully prayed that an inquiry may be ordered to be conducted so as to determine the truth,” said the petitioner in his application.
Ishtiaq Mirza, a lawyer by profession and a social worker, requested the apex court to issue necessary directives for ensuring the independence of judiciary including proceedings for the contempt of court against those found guilty.