An incensed Arsalan Iftikhar accused former Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz of dragging his family members into the case to pursue his vested interests.
The chief justice’s son, during Monday’s hearing at the apex court, also moved an application against Malik Riaz for dragging his family members into the case. The application, however, was not entertained by the registrar.
At the onset of Monday’s hearing, Arsalan attempted to address the two-member bench directly, but was asked to speak through his lawyer.
His counsel, Sardar Ishaq, informed the bench that talk show host Hamid Mir had claimed that Malik Riaz, in a conversation with Mir, had said that he has video footage which incriminates the chief justice’s other family members.
He asked the court to register a criminal case against Riaz and order his arrest, after verifying the issue, so that the matter can be investigated thoroughly.
A raging Arsalan interrupted again, accusing Malik Riaz of blackmailing and dragging his family members into the case “to pursue his vested interests.” Arsalan asked the court to record Mir’s statement and put the names of the two accused – Riaz and himself – on the exit control list until the matter is decided.
The court reprimanded Arsalan again, and Justice Khawaja said they know how to run the court’s proceedings.
We will not summon any media person, the judge said, asking Malik Riaz’s lawyer Zahid Bokhari to submit a concise statement on behalf of his client so that the court could proceed further.
Bokhari denied the allegations and said that his client never said anything to that effect about the chief justice’s family.
Protection for Arsalan
Fearing harm to his life and property, the chief justice’s son also requested for security, adding that his father has asked him not to stay with the family until the case is pending in the court.
He said that the Punjab and federal government had asked him to be careful in his movement in Lahore and Islamabad.
He also quoted the examples of the late governor Punjab’s son Shahbaz Taseer, and a joint chief of army staff’s son-in-law, who were abducted.
The court said the request is appropriate and asked the attorney general for assistance in this regard. Attorney General Irfan Qadir said he will speak to the interior secretary and that proper security will be provided to Arsalan.
Meanwhile, Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) official Aaqil Usman submitted a report stating that Malik Riaz’s tax returns, for several years, have yet to be traced due to shortage of time.
The court asked the FBR to submit a complete record of Malik Riaz and Bahria Town’s tax returns by Tuesday to assess Riaz’s history since he was chairman of Bahria Town till last month.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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