Arsalan graft case hearing resumes today
ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chauhdry will resume the hearing on suo moto case against Dr Arslan Iftikhar at 11:30 AM today (Thursday) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Geo News reported.
Moreover, Malik Riaz Hussain, the co-accused, has engaged Supreme Court lawyer Zahid Hussain Bukhari as his counsel in the case.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that anyone who had conspired to malign the judiciary would not be spared, adding that his son Dr Arsalan Chaudhry will be punished if he will be found guilty.
Dr Arsalan has, meanwhile, denied the allegations of corruption that have circulated in the media in recent days.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Ahmed Ali Riaz Malik, Chief Executive of Bahria Town, in the suo moto case of an alleged business deal involving some Rs300-400 million between his father Malik Riaz Hussain and Dr Arsalan, the son of Chief Justice Chaudhry.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by the CJ, was hearing the case. During the hearing, Chief Justice Chaudhry remarked that his son would be dealt with in accordance with the law if found guilty in the instant case. He said he would go to any extent to protect the status of the country’s highest court. He directed Ahmed Ali Riaz Malik to appear before the court today (Thursday) with all relevant records of his company relating to the allegations against Dr Arsalan.
The court also directed the Chief Executive of Geo Television to secure the materials mentioned by Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor of The News, during an interview aired worldwide from Washington.
The chief justice took suo moto notice on Tuesday night after reports circulated in the electronic and social media about Arsalan Iftikhar allegedly receiving crores of rupees from the Bahria Town management under different pretexts in order to influence the Supreme Court in favour of Bahria Town cases pending with the SC. It was reported that Malik Riaz paid between Rs300-400 million to Dr Arsalan and also sponsored his foreign visits.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Colonel Khalil, Principal Staff Officer of Malik Riaz, appeared before the court and submitted that Malik Riaz could not be contacted as he was in London for medical treatment. Later, the court summoned Malik Riaz’s son, Ahmed Ali Riaz Malik but he too could not appear before the court and could not be contacted as he was abroad as well.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Irfan Qadir, addressing the chief justice, argued that he could not be part of a bench hearing his own son’s case, at which the chief justice replied that the court was aware of the code of conduct, adding that this was a matter of the honour of the judiciary. The CJ also said that the court would hear the case in accordance with Quranic injunctions.
Hamid Mir, anchorperson Geo News, appeared before the court and contended that neither he nor Shaheen Sehbai had any material regarding the allegations against Dr Arsalan, adding that one week ago, Asma Jahangir had told him about the issue and he had expressed his ignorance to her. Hamid Mir said he later contacted Justice (retd) Tariq Mahmood about the matter, who told him that Malik Riaz had discussed the issue with some other journalists as well.
Hamid Mir said that he then met Malik Riaz Hussain, who showed him a file containing some allegations against Dr Arsalan, but did not provide any video documentation relating to the scandal. He also said it was Imran Khan who had said on his show, Capital Talk, that a conspiracy was being hatched against the chief justice.
Meanwhile, the court also summoned Geo News anchor Kamran Khan with the material on which he had conducted his programme on June 5. The court also directed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to appear before the court with the relevant record of Malik Riaz’s company so that an appropriate order could be issued in this regard.
The court also directed Colonel Khalil, Principal Staff Officer of Malik Riaz, to inform his boss to appear before the court with material.
Earlier, during the proceedings, Colonel Khalil told the court that there were some 21,000 staff members in the company, with executive members of the board including Commander Ilyas, General (Retd) Ihtisham Zameer, Major General (retd) Khalid Sultan, Mariam Rehman, etc.
Mariam Rehman, while appearing before the court, submitted that Malik Riaz had resigned as Chairman of Bahria Town. Commander Ilyas, who heads a project of Bahria Town, told the court that there was no mention of the alleged business deal in the project he heads and not a single penny was released from his project in the alleged business deal.
IGP Islamabad Bani Amin Khan told the court that as per the notice of the SC registrar, he had delivered the notice to Malik Riaz Hussain at his house situated in G-6/3, Islamabad, at 6:30am and Raja Muhammad Javed received it. Sardar Ishaq, counsel for Dr Arsalan, told the court that his client had refused to accept the allegations leveled against him.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has said:ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that government is not behind the issue of Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhary, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Geo News reported.
Talking to media outside the parliament house here Wednesday, Kaira said the issue of Chief Justice's son is in the court, adding he cannot comment till the decision.
The information minister said Malik Riaz assisted Shahbaz Sharif in Ashiana housing project.
He said democracy and dictatorship should not be compared, adding they do not want politics of 90s.
Budget session cannot be halted due to protest, he added.
Rehman Malik has said:ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior, Rehman Malik on Wednesday said the government did not want to get involved in Dr. Arsalan case terming it 'an issue between two personalities'.
Addressing a programme at NADRA Headquarter and later talking to media persons, the Advisor however said that if anyone wanted Dr. Arsalan case to be investigated then most welcome.
Lashing out at Pakistan Muslim League-N, Malik advised Sharif brothers to start respecting the NRO and regretted that when Nawaz Sharif was in power he did not leave any other option for Justice Sajjad but run (to save his life).
He alleged that officials of Punjab government were involved in the conspiracy of Justice Khawaja Sharif's murder. "(Investigation) Report into the conspiracy will be made public," he added.
Taking Shahbaz Sharif by both hands, Rehman Malik said no public service can be performed by sitting inside a 'tent' and advised him to also keep 2-4 monkeys with him as well as a 'du-dugi'.
He said very soon he would come to Lahore and file a major lawsuit for corruption against Shahbaz Sharif.
Rehman Malik asked Nawaz Sharif to observe patience and keep an eye open for a time that is yet to come.
He said the Sharif brothers should sever their ties with Malik Ishaq, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other banned outfits, and come close to PPP.
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