The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday served show-cause notices to ex-chief judge of Gilgit Baltistan Rana Shamim and others and instructed the respondents to submit their reply within seven days. Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed, Advocate General Islamabad Niazullah Niazi, journalist Ansar Abbasi and chief editor of an English daily Mir Shakeel ur Rehman appeared before the court. However, Rana Shamim was absent from the proceeding and his son Ahmed Hassan Rana appeared on behalf of him. Rejecting the apology requests by the respondents, the court asked them to submit written reply in response to the show-cause notices by next date. Addressing Mir Shakeel ur Rehman, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said the court had summoned him unwillingly. “This is a constitutional court,” he said, questioning whether the public’s trust in judiciary is being eradicated through such news items. The chief justice remarked there was a difference between social media and a newspaper as it had an editorial policy. Apparently the affidavit seems fake, he said, adding that the former chief judge was served notice because of newspaper’s report. Justice Minallah remarked that he had full confidence in judges of the IHC that’s why he had initiated this case. He noted that many a time social media campaigns were launched against him. “If someone gives an affidavit, then whether the newspaper would publish it on front page,” he questioned. On the directives of court, journalist Ansar Abbasi read out the headline of news story. The court asked whether anyone in this courtroom could tell that “from where we had taken orders.” The said affidavit, Justice Minallah said, is not part of any court’s record. The chief justice asked that from where the ex-judge notarized this affidavit and that why it was notarized from abroad. The court asked Ansar Abbasi whether he himself had investigated this news or inquired from registrar of the IHC about the content. Justice Minallah said if chief justice of Pakistan would give him such instructions then he would move to supreme judicial council against him. “Why ex-judge of Gilgit Baltistan remained silent for three years,” he asked. The chief justice remarked that it is an open challenge if anybody proves that the bench, hearing the cases of Nawaz Sharif, was dissolved on the instructions of somebody then he would take full responsibility. The court said that the ex-chief judge and the said journalist would have to present evidence to prove their claims. This court wouldn’t take time to initiate contempt of court proceeding against ex-judge. The court asked Ansar Abbasi that he was a journalist instead of a messenger. On a query by the bench, newspaper’s editor Aamer Ghouri said the story could be published if someone has documents. The court remarked that the documents were not part of any court’s record. The court asked whether Ansar Abbasi and Rana Shamim have evidence regarding issuance of instructions to this court. If yes, then this court would take action against ex-chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Minallah remarked. The court instructed all the respondents to appear in person on next date of hearing. The court asked the AGP what would be consequences if the affidavit would prove fake. The AGP said it would be a criminal act. The AGP said the timing of this affidavit was also questionable, adding that it was issued just few days before hearing on the appeals of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. Ansar Abbasi requested the court to also conduct an inquiry into the allegations along with a contempt of court proceeding. The court said these allegations were leveled against the judges of IHC and it was an attempt to damage the repute of the IHC. During the hearing, apologising for his father’s absence, Shamim’s son asked the court staff for permission to play a video in the courtroom, but it was denied. Shamim’s lawyer appeared in court on his behalf and was questioned over the former GB chief justice’s absence. The lawyer informed the court that Shamim wasn’t feeling well as he had arrived last night from Arifwala. He said Shamim’s brother had passed away. During the hearing, he requested IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah to issue another notice against Faisal Vawda as he had passed irrelevant statements against Shamim. The IHC chief justice replied to the request by saying that they can file a separate petition in this regard and that this shouldn’t be mixed with this case. The hearing of the case was adjourned till November 26.