FORMER JUDGE MAKES STARTLING CLAIMS ABOUT EX-LHC CJ AMEER BHATTI

Justice (retd) Shahid Jameel Khan can be seen in this still taken from a video of his interview with Azaz Syed. — Screengrab/YouTube/Talk SHOCK

Former judge accuses ex-LHC CJ of nepotism to favour son-in-law.He discussed incidents involving various chief justices, judges.Bhatti used position to benefit his son-in-law, ex-judge alleges.ISLAMABAD: Justice (retd) Shahid Jameel Khan, who resigned from the Lahore High Court (LHC) in February, has alleged that former LHC chief justice Ameer Bhatti was using his position to politically benefit his son-in-law, Ali Afzal Sahi, who is associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).Months after handing in his resignation, Khan sat down for a bombshell interview with host Azaz Syed for his social media talk show, “Talk Shock”, in which he exposed his fellow judges.”The decline of the judiciary in Punjab began during the tenure of Justice Sardar Shamim as LHC chief justice, who was close to the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) and was readjusted after retirement,” Justice (retd) Khan claimed in the interview.”Justice Aalia Neelum, who has been appointed as chief justice of the high court, is a good judge and cannot be approached by anyone,” he added.

While talking about Bhatti, Khan alleged that Sahi had invited him to his residence via phone call during which the former CJ’s son-in-law told the former judge that he had become a provincial minister and had also been allotted a government house.Khan said he declined the invitation as Sahi was a political party’s minister and part of the government but he revealed about 25 of his fellow judges accepted the invitation and attended the eventHe further disclosed that during and after Bhatti’s tenure, cases related to the establishment and intelligence agencies were often given to a particular judge, and it was generally perceived that he provided them relief.He said Bhatti was an approachable judge and met with everyone which, he said, should not be the case with any judge.Justice (retd) Khan said that the former CJ met PTI leader Shehzad Akbar and told him that good news was not being broadcast.He said he used to express these concerns openly to the then chief justice’s face at that time as well. He was of the view that judicial interference occurs when you allow it.Khan also recounted an incident when an inspector from a secret agency came for an inquiry into his appointment as a judge and requested a meeting with his officer, to which he replied that he would meet after his confirmation.Justice (retd) Khan stated that he never engaged in any inappropriate actions as a judge and commended the integrity of Justices Mansoor Ali Shah, Shahzad Gheba and Ayesha Malik.He disclosed that Sabir Mithu, a relative of former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, attempted to influence him in a sugar case, even attempting to contact his brother and mother after he became a judge.Khan revealed that Mithu had informed him about General Bajwa’s appointment to succeed General Raheel Sharif, before it was officially announced.When Mithu tried to influence him, their acquaintance ended.During the interview, the former judge discussed various incidents involving chief justices and fellow judges, shedding light on some judges’ characters.He also explained the reasons for his resignation and addressed a video in which Muhammad Khan Bhatti mentioned his name.Before this interview was aired, efforts were made to contact the individuals mentioned for their comments and to record their stance regarding the interview.They were also invited for an interview to have their views broadcast ad verbatim. However, none of them accepted the invitation.

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