The spokesperson of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has announced that it has been decided to remove Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik from his post. The IHC has written a letter to the Law Ministry asking for the Judge to be removed.
As a Judge in Islamabad’s Accountability court, Judge Arshad Malik serves under the IHC. The development comes after the judge met the acting Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq twice in a single week.
Media reports said that the letter has asked the Law Ministry to make Judge Arshad Malik an Officer on Special Duty (OSD). Reports also said that the Judge had submitted his reply over the recent video controversy as an affidavit to the IHC. Both the affidavit and the press release that Arshad Malik gave in his defense have been attached with the letter.
The development came after Maryam Nawaz. PMLN leader and daughter of former Prime Minister, revealed video clips of Judge Arshad Malik meeting with PMLN leader Nasir Butt. The video allegedly showed Judge Malik saying he had decided cases against Nawaz Sharif in pressure.
Judge Arshad Malik has strongly refuted the claims made against him by Maryam Nawaz in both the affidavit and the press release.
Media reports also said that the judge had claimed that he had been forced to meet both Nawaz Sharif and Hussain Nawaz who offered him money to give a ruling in their favor.
However, it remains unclear if there will still be an inquiry against Judge Malik over Maryam Nawaz’s claims and whether a retrial will be ordered in the cases heard by the judge; the Al-Azizya and Flagship references.
It is also not clear if Maryam Nawaz’s claims and the judge’s removal will be of any help in getting Nawaz Sharif released from jail.
Judges in the accountability court are appointed under section 5A of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 by the Law Ministry with the consent of the Chief Justice of the relevant high court.
The removal of Judge Arshad Malik will also mean that the hearing of the cases currently in his courts will be suspended.