ISLAMABAD: Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed has denied filing a reference against Islamabad’s Additional Session Judge Zafar Iqbal over his verdict in journalist Mohsin Baig’s case.
On Thursday, the government had announced to file a reference against the judge after he ruled the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raid illegal at the senior journalist’s home.
The FIA had raided the journalist’s house on Wednesday in the federal capital, along with the police, and took him into custody on the complaint of Communications and Postal Services Minister Murad Saeed.
The journalist has been critical of the government’s policies and used to appear on TV talk shows as an analyst.
Speaking on program Naya Pakistan, the AGP said that the government is not going to file a reference against Islamabad’s Additional Session Judge Zafar Iqbal.
References cannot be filed based on a judge’s verdicts, nor should be unless evidence or appellate court decision proves the judge’s misconduct, he added.
AGP Khalid Javed was of the view that a review petition can be filed against the verdict but not a reference.
Reference against Islamabad judge
On Wednesday a court in Islamabad had declared the FIA’s raid at journalist Mohsin Baig’s residence illegal, hours after he had been arrested.
“…illegal raid was conducted at the house of [Baig] by irrelevant persons who were not authorized to do so,” Additional Sessions Judge Islamabad West Zafar Iqbal had stated in the judgement of a petition filed against the journalist’s arrest.
According to media reports, Advocate General (AG) Islamabad Niazullah Niazi had met Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed him about the case.
After meeting with the prime minister, Niazullah Niazi had told that an administrative petition will be filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the judge, who presided over the hearing of Mohsin Baig’s case regarding the FIA raid at his home.
Niazullah Niazi went on to say that the judge’s observations during the case hearing were prejudiced and outside of his jurisdiction. He had claimed that the same observation had been used to dismiss the FIR filed against journalist Mohsin Baig.