President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Yasin Azad called for conducting an across-the-board accountability of politicians, media persons, generals, bureaucrats and lawyers to expose those who received perks from property magnate Malik Riaz.
“The legal fraternity is with the judiciary and the chief justice of Pakistan,” Azad told a press conference on Saturday.
The fraternity could not support an icon who believes in resolving every issue with money, he said, adding that the judiciary and the chief justice should not be dragged into this case of alleged corruption. By taking action against his own son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, the chief justice has established the independence of the judiciary, Azad said, adding that the chief justice and the Supreme Court should not be penalised for the blunders of an individual.
People should not be accused on mere hearsay, he said, adding that this has become a trend in our society.
The apex court, in its verdict, endorsed the SCBA’s stand that a thorough investigation should be conducted and those responsible – whether it’s Malik Riaz, his son-in-law, or the chief justice’s son – should be dealt with in accordance with law.
The ball is now in the court of the government and the attorney general and the legal fraternity hopes that a fair investigation would be conducted, Azad said.
The investigating officers should be selected with consensus, the investigation report should be made public, and the guilty should be tried and convicted under the law, he added.
Azad said the media, as the fourth pillar of the state, was also accused in the case and it was the duty of media persons to hold all ‘black sheep’ in their ranks accountable.
Aitzaz, Bokhari barred from bars
Former SCBA president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan, and Malik Riaz’s counsel Zahid Bokhari, are virtual personae non gratae for Sindh’s bar associations, after the groups resolved to block their entry to every bar association in the province.
Bar associations from across the province – including the Karachi and Malir Bar Associations, the Hyderabad High Court Bar Association and bar associations from districts including Naushehro Feroze, Sukkur, Khairpur, Tando Adam and Umerkot – met in Karachi on Saturday.
According to Mehmoodul Hassan, the president of the Karachi Bar Association, the bars will be organising a ‘black day’ on June 18 and will boycott the courts. They have also placed a bar on any lawyer working for Malik Riaz to enter a bar association in Sindh.
(WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OUR CORRESPONDENT IN KARACHI)
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.
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