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SC holds verdict on Dr Arsalan's review plea

29 August, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: After lengthy proceedings, the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on the chief justice's son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar's review petition against the court's June 14 order to probe the matter about an alleged business deal between Malik Riaz and Dr Arsalan in an attempt to influence the judicial process.

A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, observed that they would announce the verdict in a day or two after thorough deliberation.

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Shafi Chandio said the allegations against the AG by Dr Arsalan's counsel were totally unfounded and incorrect, as he never did anything against the chief justice, except highlighting Article 4 of the Code of Conduct for Judges. The CJP had even stepped down from the bench hearing the case. This way the AG had saved the CJP from being scandalised or ridiculed, Chandio stated.

Whatever the AG did, Chandio said, was in pursuance of the order of the court, which is clear from the contents of his letter requesting the NAB chairman for sending fortnightly progress report because the apex court itself desired the AG would set the state machinery into motion. The name of NAB was also mentioned in the apex court order, he stated, adding no name to be included in the joint investigation team was given by the AG.

Earlier, Advocate Sardar Muhammad Ishaq on behalf of Dr Arsalan requested the court to order closing of the JIT inquiry and entrust the same to any other independent agency or body other than NAB, which should act beyond the influence of Malik Riaz and the federal government.

The counsel pleaded this will ensure transparency and fairness, adding his client had no faith on the NAB inquiry. When the counsel requested the court to appoint a judge to conduct the inquiry, Justice Hussain asked if Ishaq did not trust anyone, should the court call someone from abroad.

On the other hand, Advocate Zahid Bokhari representing Malik Riaz opposed the idea of constituting a commission to look into the allegations. Expressing concern over the SC registrar, he said the press release issued by the SC Registrar's Office relating to this case was incorrect.

Bokhari maintained that the registrar had said in the press release there was no stay order in the case while the apex court had granted a stay order. Sardar Ishaq stated NAB had become controversial under the present chairman who was allegedly dancing to the tunes of some corrupt elements.

He alleged that Malik Riaz enjoyed significant clout in Islamabad, adding that the NAB chairman was partial and prejudiced, and the allegations against his client were malafide.

End.

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