LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan on Friday summoned a meeting of the court’s administrative committee on August 26 to launch an inquiry against former accountability court judge Arshad Malik over a controversial video.
The seven-member committee will be headed by LHC CJ. The other six members include Justice Mamoonur Rasheed Sheikh, Justice Qasim Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Ameenudin Khan, Justice Ameer Bhatti and Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed Khan Rashid.
The LHC will officially suspend Mailk on Saturday. During the meeting, an inquiry officer will be appointed and Malik would be asked to present his point of view on the allegations against him.
If the inquiry report finds him guilty of the charges, Malik will be removed from service.
It is not necessary for Malik to appear before the committee but if can if he wants. He will have to appear before the body if it summons him.
A day earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) repatriated Malik to the LHC so that disciplinary action could be initiated against him for violating the judges’ code of conduct.
A notification issued by the IHC acting registrar stated that Malik — in his press release dated July 7 and in an affidavit — had admitted to committing acts of misconduct and violating the judges’ code of conduct.
“It warranted the initiation of disciplinary action against him. Therefore, IHC chief justice has ordered placing the judge under suspension and repatriating him to his parent department, the LHC,” the notification read.
The communique came two days after Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa inquired as to why Malik had not been repatriated to his parent department and reserved the judgement in the scandal.
The CJP remarked that thousands of judges in the country, who were honest and upright, felt ashamed because of Malik.
In July, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz had unveiled a controversial video purportedly showing judge Malik confessing that he was pressured into convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia case sans any evidence. Malik was later barred by the law ministry from serving as an accountability court judge.
Malik in an affidavit submitted to the IHC denied the allegations and claimed that he was “blackmailed” and offered a hefty bribe by the Sharif family to acquit the former premier.
The former accountability judge in December last year sentenced the three-time prime minister to seven-year rigorous imprisonment after he was found guilty in the Al-Azizia reference.