‘Dirty deals’: SC rejects Malik Riaz’s plea for larger bench

Riaz tycoon fails to file statement; CJ’s son says he doesn’t know who paid for London flat; insists he repaid amount.


Azam Khan June 10, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


A day that was supposed to provide some headway in a murky case only served to increase the questions surrounding the alleged transactions between the chief justice’s son and the country’s biggest real estate tycoon – a case that has caused a stir in the corridors of power.


Saturday was a key day on two counts: The two parties, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz, were to file concise statements on the matter, while the court was supposed to decide on whether or not to refer the case to a larger bench, given the questions being raised regarding the two-member bench currently hearing the case.

Of the day’s events, most notable was the continued silence of Malik Riaz – who did not file his statement despite the court’s orders. Riaz’s lawyer, Zahid Bokhari, told The Express Tribune that he could not confirm whether or not his client would file the statement at all. However, an associate of Bokhari told The Express Tribune that the statement could be filed on Monday, when the court resumes hearing the case, and added that the filing of the concise statement was delayed to see what the court’s response would be on the application seeking the formation of a larger bench.

Riaz’s legal team got the answer to that question on Saturday when the plea for a larger bench was rejected by the chief justice himself. “No doubt in the instant case … important questions are involved, however, the judges seized with the matter are quite competent to decide the same. Thus, for the reason the application so filed for constitution of larger bench is rejected,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who recused himself from the case in the last hearing because it involves his son, mentions in his written note. He said there are a number of cases of important nature that have been decided by two members, referring to the case of fraud in the payments to rental power plants detected by Nepra.

Dr Arsalan pleads innocence

Unlike Riaz, the chief justice’s son, Dr Arsalan, did file a reply – and a very interesting one at that. While he continued to deny the accusations that he had taken payments from Riaz for any nefarious purposes, Dr Arsalan did say he was not aware who had made the payments for a flat he and his family stayed at when in London.

“I do not know that from  whose credit card the rent of the flat, which I remotely remember, was around 3,200 sterling pounds, per week, was paid. Perhaps, I had stayed for four weeks, so the total rent, amounts to about 10,000 pounds. When I reached London, I had to sign occupancy agreement, by submitting the copy of my passport, therefore the formalities as per rules were completed, however the rent had already been paid.”

He, however, said he had paid back a cousin and acquaintances who had arranged the flat for him.

“I may explain that in the year 2009 I travelled on my own expenses, with my family to London and I hired a flat, details are available with me. Similarly, for the year 2010 and 2011, same practice was adopted and an amount of PKR 45/- lacs was deposited through (cheque No.1287353 of Standard Chartered Bank, Lahore) on 15th August 2011 by my cousin namely Muhammad Aamir Rana, into Zaid Rehman’s (account No.020502000003244 Meezan Bank, Gulberg Lahore).

“As far as Zaid Rehman is concerned, he is known to me through one Ahmed Khaki, who happens to be his cousin and if so desired and required by this honourable court, evidence shall be led in detail in this regard…”

The chief justice’s son also took time to hit back at Riaz, asking that the court take action against him if no evidence comes forward and if “contradictory” statements by him continue. He also maintained that if indeed Riaz had tried to bribe him, then, too, action ought to be initiated against the billionaire land developer.

“…if he (Malik Riaz) had made investments, allegedly for favoring me to achieve illegal ulterior motives he owe an explanations to the honourable court and considering the golden principles of jurisprudence, the person who has committed a wrong is not legally entitled to claim benefits of the same, rather on account of admission of such wrongs. He deserves to be punished severely.”

He pleaded that he would defend himself once and if evidence is brought forward against him.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.

COMMENTS (7)

Khurram Khalid | 9 years ago | Reply

A conflict of two over-ambitious people-a judge and a business tycoon-where their respective kids are mere proxies. The conflict escalated when one of the parties did not fulfill its undertakings and all attempts of rapprochement failed. Both parties are strong-headed, stubborn and have enough cards in their hands which they will continue to use against each other until....

Umer | 9 years ago | Reply

@A J Khan:

Arsalan is a Very Impressive Bussinesssman.He made 9000 Million assets in just five years.

Best part is his father did not "suspect" a thing. :)

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