ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday granted bail to Mian Tariq, main accused, in JudgeArshad Malik video scandal case.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice AtharMinallah and Justice AamerFarooq conducted hearing of the bail petition of the main accused of the case Mian Tariq Mehmood.

The IHC bench noted in the verdict, “In the circumstances as mentioned above, this petition is allowed and the petitioner is admitted to bail, subject to furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees one hundred thousand only) with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court. The petitioner will be at liberty to deposit cash surety as per policy of the learned trial court.”

It stated that brief facts as narrated in the FIR are that an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice sent a letter dated 15-07-2019, to the Director General, Federal Investigation Agency along with a written complaint of Mohammad Arshad Malik, District and Sessions Judge. The latter had asserted that during his posting at Multan between 2000 to 2003, the petitioner had secretly filmed him in a compromising position after being intoxicated.

It also said that he had alleged that on the basis of the said video attempts were made by persons named in the FIR to influence him in a case. He also admitted in his complaint that he had met a person convicted by his court as well as his son. However, he did not state that he had handed down conviction pursuant to the alleged attempts to influence him.

During the hearing, the learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the latter has been falsely involved in the instant case; story as narrated in the FIR is false, frivolous and vexatious; the petitioner has been made a scapegoat in the instant case; section 7-A of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 is not attracted in the instant case; sections 165-A, 201, 420, 500, 506 and 471 are bailable, whereas sections 468 and 120-B are not attracted against the present petitioner; sections 10 and 21 of the Prevention of Electronics Act, 2016 are non-bailable, whereas remaining sections are bailable; sections 10 and 21 of the Prevention of Electronics Act, 2016 are not attracted against the petitioner; the petitioner is also entitled to the concession of post arrest bail on medical grounds; the co-accused of the petitioner have been enlarged on bail and keeping in view the rule of consistency, the petitioner is also entitled to the same relief; no incriminating material was recovered from the petitioner; the petitioner has been incarcerated for more than ten months; investigations qua the petitioner have been completed and he is no more required for purposes thereof; further incarceration of the petitioner will not serve any useful purpose; the petitioner has not committed the alleged offences; the petitioner has not used an electronic device by transmitting explicit material relating to the complainant; recovery if any is fake and concocted.

He added that the petitioner has no criminal history; there is no chance of abscondance of the petitioner or tampering with the prosecution evidence; the case against the petitioner is based on malafide and ulterior motives of the complainant; the offences do not fall within the ambit of prohibitory clause of section 497 of CrPC; report under section 173 of CrPC has been submitted before the learned trial court; the case against the petitioner is that of further probe; hence the learned counsel urges the petitioner to be released on bail.

The Deputy Attorney General also appeared along with Ijaz Ahmed Sheikh and M. Azmat Khan, Assistant Directors, FIA. They contended that recovery has been affected from the petitioner; the petitioner has been specifically nominated in the FIR; the petitioner had deliberately uploaded personal and objectionable pictures of the complainant; the said act of the petitioner has destroyed the honour and modesty of the complainant not only in family but also in the community and department; investigations qua the petitioner have been completed and report under section 173 of CrPC has been submitted before the learned trial court; charge has been framed and the trial of the case will be concluded shortly; hence urges for dismissal of bail.

The controversy surfaced when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz during a press conference released a secret video of judge Arshad Malik in which he ‘confessed’ of convicting Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference under duress because he was blackmailed due to the video.