ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday rejected the plea of Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza to halt trial in derogatory video case against the judiciary and judges and sought evidence from prosecution at next hearing. A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the suo motu notice case over a video clip of Rawalpindi-based cleric Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza on June 25 in which he had used derogatory language against the judiciary and judges.

During the course of proceedings, accused Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza refused to accept indictment and pleaded the court through his lawyer to stop the trial of the case until judgment from the trial court.

The counsel for Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza said that two cases were registered on the base of a single video.

To this, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said that the top court was hearing only the contempt case and the laws of cyber crime and terrorism were not related to contempt of court, each crime has its own trial method, evidence and punishment.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that if four laws were violated in a video, each institution would take action and each institution would apply its law in the usual manner, while the trial court would decide on its own evidence. He said that despite the apology submitted to the Supreme Court, if accused was not accepting indictment, then it was his choice.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case for three weeks and also sought a progress report from the FIA. On the other hand, the FIA had submitted a progress report in the Supreme Court and stated that co-accused Akbar Ali was released on bail by special anti-terrorism court, while Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza’s bail was rejected.

The report stated that details of Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza’s mobile numbers had been obtained along with CDRs. According to mobile records, the accused made contacts abroad, it added.

The report stated that accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza’s contact list of 486 numbers included retired military officers and civilians, while the details of the 26 numbers most in touch with the accused had nothing to do with the video against the judges and judiciary.

According to the report, Abdul Waheed Dogar, who had filed a petition against Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, had also been interrogated. The report stated that Abdul Waheed Dogar said he was a professional journalist and he reports on various ministries, including the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance and law enforcement agencies.

 

The report stated that during the interrogation, Abdul Waheed Dogar also confirmed a meeting with Advisor on Accountability Shehzad Akbar on the issue of presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. Abdul Waheed Dogar admitted that after registering a complaint in the East Recovery Unit, he once met Shehzad Akbar, while Abdul Waheed Dogar denied any connection with accused Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza, it added.

The report stated that the statement of Shehzad Akbar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability, was also recorded and he had denied any link with accused Iftikhar-ud-Din. 

 

The report stated that out of 689 uploaded videos of accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza on social media, investigation of 175 has been completed while the investigation of 19 bank accounts of accused Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza was in progress.

The Housing Society has been transacting in a bank account of Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza, while Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza’s son has admitted that after selling the rest of the 3-Kanal society, his father has a few Marlas of land left, it added.

 

According to the report, Rs 6437568 was transferred to the account of accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza from Iqra Public School and College from 2010 to 2018, while Rs. 15,071,562 was transferred from the account of Iqra Welfare Organization.  Al-Husseini Trust account transferred Rs. 43,050,839, while accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza had also received funds from abroad, it added.

The report further stated that accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza has two vehicles, a Suzuki Mehran and a Wagon R. A request had been made to the Chairman FBR to get the tax record of accused Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza, it added.