ISLAMABAD: Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz arrived in Pakistan on Monday and will appear before the Supreme Court tomorrow.
Earlier, Riaz's lawyer Zahid Bukhari said while speaking to the media that Riaz will submit his reply to the Supreme Court in the Arsalan Iftikhar case.
Speaking to the media at the Islamabad airport late on Monday, Riaz said that he has been instructed not to issue any statements, and would be submitting his reply in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court, however, said that there was no need for Riaz to come and he should just file a reply as soon as possible. Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had submitted his detailed reply in compliance with the court orders, while Riaz had not filed any reply. Bukhari had claimed that he cannot come to Pakistan due to poor health.
The two-member bench, comprising Justice Jawad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif, began the hearing on Monday in the evening as opposed to its scheduled time of 1pm.
During the hearing, Dr Iftikhar tried to pray to the court directly, without mediating his counsel. His request was denied and he was told to sit down.
Justice Khwaja observed that the charges in the case alleged that the journalists were told to report that Iftikhar had taken money from Bahria Town chief in order to affect the judiciary. He directed Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Iftikhar’s counsel, Sardar Ishaq, to explain the nature of the crime to the court.
Ishaq informed the court that the crime was not that “significant” and said that this was the reason why “it was being concealed”.
A suo motu was taken against Iftikhar and Riaz, following media reports that Iftikhar had received between Rs300 and Rs400 million from Riaz to influence judicial proceedings.
Iftikhar seeks Riaz’s arrest
Earlier during the day, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar submitted an application in the Supreme Court seeking Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz’s arrest. He also asked the court to put his name and Riaz's name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Iftikhar, in his plea, stated that Riaz had claimed during a talk-show on a private TV channel that he has pictures of Iftikhar’s family, and requested the court to bar Riaz from posting this material on social media websites including Twitter.
Barrister Ali Zafar was appointed by Bahria Town as its lawyer in the case.
‘Plea a conspiracy to stop Riaz’s return’
Terming Dr Iftikhar’s plea seeking Riaz’s arrest a “conspiracy” to stop him from coming back, Bukhari said that his client will come back to Pakistan even if there are 10 cases registered against him.
Speaking to the media on the premises of the Supreme Court, he said that Riaz was bringing back evidence with him that will be “as strong as a bomb” and that he had “news to give to the media”.
Bukhari said that his client was coming to Pakistan despite his ailment.
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