Arsalan Iftikhar is in the dock as SC to open up ‘old case’

By Sarmad Ali

   Islamabad (Pak Destiny)  The Supreme Court has finally decided to discuss, in the open court, a controversial document signed by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to teach a lesson to those leveled corruption allegations against his son Dr Arsalan.

    By the office note, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had instructed the Office of the Court to immediately initiate contempt proceedings “against all concerned” who allegedly brought out some critical information about his son, Dr. Arsalan, in connection with his ‘moral and financial dispute’ with property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.

     The former chief justice had instructed that the new contempt case shall be fixed before the same bench of two Judges which was hearing the dispute after his formal recusal from the bench. In apparent breach of his declared dissociation from the case, the taller than life Chief Justice still tried to rescue his son by scaring the likely witnesses of the financial transactions between the parties in England. Dr. Arsalan had denied the transactions which included the bills for his vacations and shopping in England.

      The certification of the contentious document, originally an Office Note of the Admn Branch, was sought in Nov. 2012 through a constitution petition that sought enforcement of the Fundamental Right of “Access to information”.

   The Office objected to the petition stating that the Court, by its Rules, could not certify a non-judicial document. Besides, the copy of the document was not legally obtained by the petitioner. The Office even refused to register an appeal against its order by calling it a scandal and delayed further proceedings for more than two years.

    On Jan. 7 last, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali while hearing the controversy in the chamber ruled that the Office objections were misdirected. The Judge in Chambers directed the appellant Shahid Orakzai to read out the objectionable portions. The appellant complied by explaining how his son “was accused of extorting money from a litigant before this Court” and the Chief Justice “initiated speedy criminal proceedings against potential witnesses who could bring in evidence against his son.” The appellant also read out the line that “the document, if and when placed before the Supreme Judicial Council would make headlines”. Pak Destiny



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