The 10-year-old official record of the Sindh High Court (SHC) reveals that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, when he was a high profile detainee of Pervez Musharraf, during his trial on the hijacking charges punishable with death penalty, had not only shown confidence but also praised professionalism of the then Sindh High Court chief justice and the new NAB chairman, Deedar Hussain Shah. The record available with The News reveals that with the elevation of the then SHC CJ, Deedar Hussain, to the Supreme Court on April 28, 2000, detained Nawaz Sharif had suddenly found himself in big trouble at the hands of the new SHC CJ, who had constituted a full bench to hear the hijacking case on a daily basis. It created panic in the ranks of Nawaz’s legal team. The court documents show that Nawaz and his legal team were satisfied with the role of the SHC CJ, Deedar Hussain Shah, because they believed that in line with the norms of justice, he neither allowed a speedy trial of Nawaz nor he formed a full bench like his successor. Deedar Hussain Shah, when he was the SHC CJ, had actually appointed a three-member bench comprising Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Rabbani and another judge, to hear the Nawaz case and the former prime minister was quite satisfied with this bench and its proceedings. After reading these papers, it becomes quite obvious that Deedar Hussain Shah was sent to the Supreme Court because General Musharraf was unhappy with him during the trial of Nawaz Sharif. The official record shows that Nawaz’s legal team had praised the then SHC CJ Deedar Hussain Shah in the petition no. 172/2000, which was filed to challenge the speedy trial and formation of a full bench by the new SHC CJ. The petition was filed on June 27, 2000, challenging whether Sindh High Court registrar could constitute a full bench for hearing of anti-terrorism appeals under Rules 2 and 5 of the high court. Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer had complained in writing to the SHC after the elevation of Deedar Shah as the SC judge followed by the appointment of the new SHC CJ that the role of secret agencies had suddenly become important in proceedings that had greatly disturbed Nawaz. He complained in the petition that after the appointment of the new SHC chief justice, inconveniences had been created by four intelligence agencies. But, today after the lapse of 10 years, the PML-N leaders have come out to attack the same judge and challenged his appointment as the NAB chairman on grounds that once he was a PPP worker and had contested election on its ticket. But Nawaz’s legal team and leaders did not question him or his past political affiliation as they had found him a professional judge who did not allow secret agencies to disturb the court’s environment or form a full bench or order his speedy trial as it was done later. The documents revealed that with the elevation of Deedar Hussain Shah to the SC in April 2008, Nawaz Sharif was not happy, telling the court in writing that when he (Deedar Shah) was the SHC CJ, environment of the court was smooth, orderly and peaceful. Deedar Shah had also worked with Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary and had retired without any complaint against him as he enjoyed a good record as a judge. Giving details of problems he faced after the elevation of Deedar Shah to the SC, a Nawaz lawyer wrote in his petition: “When earlier hearings of instant hearings of instant appeal were taking place, Justice Deedar Hussain was the chief justice of the Sindh High Court and at that time no such problems existed though the courtroom was full to the brim. It was because the honourable SHC chief justice (Deedar Shah) had told in advance to advocates of the parties and he had ordered the registrar to issue warnings to the public through the media to maintain discipline and behave properly otherwise entry for attending the hearings of appeal would be restricted. After these warnings, every hearing had then passed smoothly, orderly, and peacefully.”
By: The News