The SC’s short order

Published: June 14, 2012
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Order advises media to ensure that it was not being used by elements acting against the state or the Constitution. PHOTO: AGENCIES

Order advises media to ensure that it was not being used by elements acting against the state or the Constitution. PHOTO: AGENCIES

The Supreme Court’s short order in the Arsalan Iftikhar case directing the attorney general to take whatever action is necessary to investigate the charges levelled against the chief justice’s son and his son-in-law is a welcome development in that two positive things seem to have happened. The first is that the Court seems to have stepped back into investigating the allegations against the chief justice’s son and that is good because had it not done so, the Court, despite the fact that the chief justice had recused himself from the bench, would have been left open to accusations of conflict of interest. Since the matter concerned the son and son-in-law of the Supreme Court chief justice and given that it pertained to them being allegedly given favours in return for help in cases pending before the Court, it is good that the matter will now be investigated by the office of the attorney general. The second is that the law will now run its course and one hopes that it will unearth the truth.

The short order also noted that while Malik Riaz claimed that Rs327 million had been given in cash, the documents presented to the court provided only details of Arsalan Iftikhar’s foreign visits and did not contain any evidence of monetary transfers. Hence, in such a situation, it would make sense for the matter to be investigated further by law-enforcement authorities and this is precisely what seems to have been done with the directive to the attorney general. The order also noted that Malik Riaz did not provide any statement on behalf of his son-in-law and perhaps, this is also a lead that can be investigated by the attorney general.

The short order also advised the media that it needed to ensure that it was not being used by elements that were acting against the state or the Constitution. It noted further that in some instances it had attacked the judiciary and that statements made by journalists suggested that they did not try to get their facts straight. There is, for sure, a need for the media to raise its professional standards and this can be done by instituting and enforcing internal codes of conduct but one must not forget that it was the media that unearthed the matter in the first place — and that it has done so on many prior occasions as well.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Jun 14, 2012 - 10:51PM

    It has become very clear after leaked video on Dunya TV that Malik Riaz enjoys great influence on our “free” media. Talat Hussain appears to be the only neutral journalist left. It is a very balanced order by Supreme Court after so much negative projection from the media.

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  • Ejaaz
    Jun 14, 2012 - 10:59PM

    The superduper PCO CJ’s son is suddenly rich, the CJ’s wife goes shopping in London with her son and the CJ has been told at least six months earlier that his son is accepting favor by Aitzaz and no Suo Moto, but then it shows up on you tube and overnight suo moto? Why does the PCO CJ not answer the questions asked by Riaz? Why has the PCO judges given a gag order to Riaz?

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  • Zafar Sultan
    Jun 14, 2012 - 11:22PM

    The order is best piece of judgment whiich has come out. The Attorney General who is appointed by this Govt is given full authority to investigate the matter and bring to justice all those who have wronged.
    One should keep in mind as shown on U TUBE DUNAYA,who are paid by Riaz, the fall guy, it is stage manged by this regime.One does not need more evidence thamn phone call of PM son talking to Riaz while interview is stage managed.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 15, 2012 - 12:29AM

    Great editorial by the editor of ET. After a few acrobatics the PCO SC judges finally did right after they have tried everything else. This is an open case of corruption by a govt official who was well connected. His lavish lifestyle tells it all. The PCO CJ has stepped on many people and turned into an elected dictator from a govt servant, and this is a rude awakening for him. There may be much more in store for him and the nation. Let the truth and whole truth come out. In Pakistan people are forced to pay bribes for every task whether it is legal or illegal. The amount of money varies depending upon the “value” of the prey. This should be stopped, hopefully it is just the beginning.

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  • Prof. Sarmad
    Jun 15, 2012 - 1:15AM

    Agreed !

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  • Raheem Bukhsh
    Jun 15, 2012 - 1:56AM

    I doubt if Attorney General of Pakistan Mr Irfan Qadir can conduct investigation unbiased? He is puppet of this government. Proven by his conduct today in SC. Mr Riaz will be called innocent and Arsalan Iftikhar will be found guilty. I am proud of this Chief Justice of mine. Atleast there is one person in current generation of power players about whom i shall be able to tell my kids as a bright example, may be other than Imran khan. But i shall always be ashmed that i lived in the era of current P.M and President.

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  • Logic Europe
    Jun 15, 2012 - 2:41AM

    The best decision for arsalan , he is laughing

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  • Mirza
    Jun 15, 2012 - 8:37AM

    @Logic Europe:
    I agree with you 100%. May I dare add a couple of words to your statement?
    Arsalan is laughing all the way to the bank.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • toticalling
    Jun 15, 2012 - 11:47AM

    I think CJ should go on paid leave until the matter is decided. He is not a politician and does not represent people but is paid employee. If his honor is in dispute he must clear it first. But I know it won’t happen. In Pakistan mostlyy elected people are ridiculed, imprisoned or hanged.

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  • Wellwisher
    Jun 15, 2012 - 8:23PM

    @Mirza:
    NO. SC should have formed a commission like Memogate Comn which would have yielded quick conclusion of findings. By handing over the investigation to other govt agencies it is delaying things very much.
    First it is going to take a lot of time to decide which agency is to take up the investigation. Then political motives and bias will be attributed to the investigation.
    I think corruption is more serious matter than memogate. Hence SC should have formed a commission and CJ should have gone on leave till the finalisation of commission’s findings.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 15, 2012 - 9:08PM

    @Wellwisher:
    I agree with you and in an ideal world this should happen. The SC can form commission on Memo but would not do that in the case of the prince. They are playing political football with the govt so the case can be challenged and brought back to the higher court.
    Thanks and regards,
    MirzaRecommend

  • Javaid R. Shami
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:49AM

    @Ejaaz:
    Absolutely!

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  • Sultan Khan
    Jun 18, 2012 - 4:46PM

    Till Iftikhar is CJ, I am sure no government official shall dare to investigate critically and thoroughly against his son as ultimately the case shall reach in the SC where father and his friends are sitting. Bias has already come to the fore by first ordering to produce the details of only Mr.Riaz (only upon pointing it was said o.k. also bring those of Arsalan ) and also putting a gag order for Mr. Riaz whereas the Constitution of Pakistan gives the guarantee of free speech for every body. Hence, in my view the proceedings of the case may be kept pending till Iftikhar retires.

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