Untangled interests

Published: June 7, 2012
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The CJ’s son has also been involved in some dubious dealings in the past, which does not strengthen his case. . PHOTO: FILE

The CJ’s son has also been involved in some dubious dealings in the past, which does not strengthen his case. . PHOTO: FILE

The case involving Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry and his dubious dealings with the chief executive of Bahria Town, Malik Riaz, took a sudden turn on the morning of June 7, where rather sensibly, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — who up till now had in a rather extraordinary decision been heading the bench himself — stated that he will be recusing himself from the case. This complies with advice given on an earlier occasion as well from the attorney general of Pakistan. The CJ himself must also be familiar with Article IV of a September 2009 Supreme Court notification, which clearly states that a judge should not be hearing cases which involve close relatives as it constitutes a clash of interests. More neutral persons will now be permitted to determine the facts in what promises to be a complex case. The CJ’s timely move averts a huge controversy; Arsalan has also been evicted from his father’s house in a move which, at least symbolically speaking, sends out the right message even though there must be some doubt as to whether it means very much in actual terms.

As the hearing continues, there is a good chance that a Pandora’s box will open up. Television anchors have already given evidence before the Court, detailing what they know of the matter. There have been insinuations that Arsalan was deliberately framed, mainly to malign the CJ. This makes it all the more imperative that he remove himself from the case. The details that come out are not likely to be pleasant. It is hard to believe, as claimed by Arsalan that he knew nothing about the bribes allegedly given to him and saw the whole matter only as a business deal. The CJ’s son has also been involved in some dubious dealings in the past, which does not strengthen his case.

Given Malik Riaz’s reputation, more people are likely to become involved in the sordid affair. It would do everyone good if this matter is resolved in a manner complying strictly with the codes and ethics entailed in the Constitution.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Sonya
    Jun 7, 2012 - 11:20PM

    What about an ‘out of court’ solution?

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  • Raheem Bukhsh
    Jun 8, 2012 - 12:32AM

    CJ os pakistan is a bright example for a common pakistani fed up with corrupt politicians trying to protect their corrupt kids at every cost. Though i believe that Arslans case is matter of dealing between two individuals and CJ has nothing to do with it. An evil brain is behind this whole stage play.

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  • Gul Metlo
    Jun 8, 2012 - 3:17AM

    CJ has been very supportive and has misused his position on various occasion in the past for his son. It was him who fowl played from getting admission to medical college to inducting his son into police service.

    Now his whole family is involved in this scam. How one can expect him to be fair when his track record is of misusing his official position to the benefit of his son in the past.

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  • Alam
    Jun 8, 2012 - 6:39AM

    Hard to imagine father did not know about what kind of business his son was doing, specially if everyone is living under one roof

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  • Arshed Bhatti
    Jun 8, 2012 - 8:41AM

    If CJ’s hands are clean (which one feels are), he should preferably tender his resignation or at least go on leave till this matter is under investigation. For, his being around will hugely influence both the process and the outcome of this case! Whereas, conditional resignation will make him more popular and a true hero who is not afraid to face the truth!

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  • Tahir Younus
    Jun 8, 2012 - 12:41PM

    @Gul Metlo: Dear Gul Melto! Its true that Arsalan’s case was dubious when surfaced in 2007, but whole of your establishment, even with the help of great legal brain Malik Muhammad Qayyum, could not prove that CJ influenced anyone in Arsalan’s case. So please, do not propagate the failed allegations again.

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  • Tahir Younus
    Jun 8, 2012 - 12:53PM

    @Arshed Bhatti: Dear Bhatti, till now there is not an iota of proof, even an allegation, that CJ was also involved either remotely or indirectly. Resignation is such a case will make a bad precedent in countries like Pakistan, where political interests or opposing vested interests will just have to make an allegation against any family member of an upright person to get him resigned. The case would have been different, had there been any direct evidence or substantive allegation against the CJ himself.

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  • Haris Farooq
    Jun 8, 2012 - 3:00PM

    CJ’s action is just a cover up story. We all know about this brilliant son, to favor him CJ faced a lot in the past. I am glad that Malik Riaz instead of wasting more and more money to the extortionist decided to leak the story through media.
    I am also not ready to believe that CJ did not knew that his son going abroad for leisure trip and doing huge shoppings is doing it from legitimate sources? Honestly the loving son must have brought expensive gifts for father, so father posing as innocent is another crap.
    We also know that the “innocent son” will be freed honorably and our CJ will earn more laurels for not even sparing his own son.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jun 8, 2012 - 3:10PM

    How come neither CJ and anyone living under the same roof knew nothing of foreign tours and life style of this prodigal son of the house. CJ says he neither owns any house and even a car then how come Dr. Arsalan, his son claims to be owning Nine Hundred Million rupees from business (this was mentioned by Ansar Abassi in his recent column). I think it is now very important to net in the family members if the nation wants to know real time facts. In the meantime CJ should ask for long leave and move somewhere abroad so that no one is influenced by his presence in the country. He can come back and rejoin if all apprehensions are cleared. Where there is smoke there is fire. No one should become sacrificial lamb in this most important case in the history of the world, specially in the charged atmosphere here at home.

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  • Animal Farm - Desi
    Jun 8, 2012 - 5:53PM

    ‘Panga’ with the agencies is an expensive affair; is THE lesson from Pakistan’s history. They just exposed the deals on which they were sitting for a while. After all, ‘Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard’.

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