Malik Riaz to seek CJ’s removal from Bahria Town hearings

Published: June 9, 2012
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Counsel of Malik Riaz in Arsalan Iftikhar case to file application for constitution of larger bench.  PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

Counsel of Malik Riaz in Arsalan Iftikhar case to file application for constitution of larger bench. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: The high-profile case involving the chief justice’s son and a real estate tycoon has put the country’s top judge in the crosshairs, and he may have to step aside, at least on some cases.

Bahria Town’s former chairman Malik Riaz is to file a request to the chief justice to not sit on any bench or hear a case related to Bahria Town, and transfer all such cases to other benches, Riaz’s counsel, Zahid Bokhari, said on Friday.

Cases involving Riaz, his son Ali Riaz, and Bahria Town are pending in different courts across the country, including the Supreme Court. Bokhari will also move an application on Saturday seeking the formation of a larger bench to hear the case.

“We are going to apply for a larger bench … we will even welcome a full court to hear this case,” Bokhari said.

The counsel also claimed that he would present evidence against the accused Dr Arsalan Iftikhar when the case will be taken up for regular hearing.

Later, at the premises of the Lahore High Court, Bokhari said that interviews published in two newspapers on Friday, and attributed to his client, were fabricated. He added that his client will return to the country and appear before the apex court as soon as his doctors would allow him to travel.

How the case unfolded

Earlier in the week, information was leaked to certain media houses claiming that the chief justice’s son,  Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, received millions of rupees and foreign trips as bribe from Malik Riaz in return for pledges to settle all pending cases related to Bahria Town.

As the news spread on national media, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took a suo motu notice, and summoned his son and Malik Riaz to the apex court.

After preliminary hearing on Thursday, he detached himself from the bench and the remaining two members continued the hearings. After the chief justice’s departure from the bench, the court barred Malik Riaz from making any statements in the media. Bokhari had promised the court that his client would follow their directions.

Interaction with media

That promise, however, seemed tenuous after an interview of Malik Riaz with Ansar Abbasi was published in Daily Jang and The News on Friday.

In this interview, Malik Riaz exonerated the chief justice, but leveled more serious allegations against Dr Arsalan, alleging that he had been blackmailing him.

Bokhari, however, denied Malik Riaz gave any statement to any media person after the court order.

“Malik Riaz told me on telephone that a wrong interview was attributed to him by the journalist,” Bokhari said. He added that the court did not bar his client from speaking to the media.

“It was not an order, but a desire that the court had expressed,” he said.

Eight-minute-long call

Abbasi, while speaking with The Express Tribune, said he had received a phone call from Malik Riaz on Thursday at 5:02 pm

In the call that lasted more than eight minutes, Malik Riaz allowed him to publish the details of his earlier meetings with him, Abbasi said.

Abbasi also showed his phone call record to this scribe to prove his claim.

When The Express Tribune contacted the same cell phone number, a person claiming to be Malik Riaz’s secretary said his boss was busy and would return the call. No call was returned till the filing of this report.

(With additional reporting by Rana Tanveer in Lahore)

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Gill
    Jun 9, 2012 - 5:09AM

    At least this “so called” property tycoon is brought under lime light. Lots of stories would unfold, like how he manages to grab land, how he is able to influence the powerful politicians, hwhat is his role in DHA Valley scheme, how he manages to get 24/7 sullpy of power from the national grid despite all the country facing massive loadshedding, how is he influencing military beaurocracy!!!!

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 9, 2012 - 5:30AM

    They are creating fuss out of nothing.
    Even if they are able to prove prefabricated case against Dr. Arslan they won’t be able to prove its effect or influence on any of the case pending or closed case.
    Every common Pakistani knows that current honorable judges of supreme court are one of the best our judiciary system has ever produced.

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  • Ali
    Jun 9, 2012 - 6:56AM

    Malik Riaz is Zardari’s good friend and nothing bad happens to Zardari’s good friends.

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  • Rao
    Jun 9, 2012 - 7:57AM

    All good friends, Zardari,Malik Riaz or have to pay the looted money, I am sure the time has come.Devil does not survive,only truth prevails

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  • anybodyagree
    Jun 9, 2012 - 8:13AM

    so the end of one way justice is coming up . . .???

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  • Not me
    Jun 9, 2012 - 8:43AM

    Even this storm will blow away.
    Money can buy a lot of things in Pakistan.

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  • Iram
    Jun 9, 2012 - 9:30AM

    Fair demand of Malik Riaz.

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  • Hassan
    Jun 9, 2012 - 10:32AM

    This guy Malik Riza knows how to get his work done….Everything is planed here…they wanted to involve CJ in somthing, Ask him to leave bahria cases so cases goes to other judges which are already in Pocket…Mission accomplished.

    But Allah might have other plans :) He is forgetting it :)

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  • Informed.
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Doesn’t this also implicate Malik Riaz who by his own admission attempted to influence judgements by paying the CJ’s son? Why are no charges being drawn up against him for offering and paying a bribe?

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Jun 10, 2012 - 4:08PM

    First, he should come back to Pakistan……..if Zahid Bokhari is his council,he will never.

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  • Abdul khaliq
    Jun 12, 2012 - 10:09PM

    The only recommendation buyers of bahria plots is have a registery of land from reveneu in ur name so in future u r safe . Do not trust on bahria transfer alone .

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  • naveed chohan
    Jun 14, 2012 - 12:47AM

    @Pakistani:
    sorry i don’t agree with you, how can you say its prefabricated case? no one can become honorable by long march! what they have done for nation. nothng. just becoming hero of nation by doing sou mot! we should consider both sides yet no one is convicted

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