Hearing the Arsalan Iftikhar-Malik Riaz graft case on Tuesday, a two-member apex court bench asked Attorney General Irfan Qadir and NAB prosecutor general to submit their statements in the case by Wednesday (today).
Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had filed a review petition against the court’s earlier order, which directed the attorney general to set state machinery in motion to probe the alleged financial transactions between real estate tycoon Malik Riaz’s son-in-law and Arsalan Iftikhar.
During the proceedings, Iftikhar’s counsel, Sardar Ishaq, said the attorney general had a personal vendetta against the chief justice and was biased against his client, citing a letter written by Irfan Qadir to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman.
Ishaq went on to add that despite Arsalan’s concerns, NAB did not bring the inquiry to a halt, saying a campaign to malign the chief justice’s family was still underway.
A bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case. Referring to a controversial press conference held by Malik Riaz, in which he accused the chief justice of meeting him numerous times in the “dead of the night”, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed that even though the court was maligned, God was the ultimate authority on honour and disgrace.
The bench and Attorney General Irfan Qadir exchanged barbs momentarily when Qadir said he was surprised that the court had asked him to sit for three hours when it was intending to adjourn the case for tomorrow. Justice Jawwad replied saying the bench was equally amazed at how the attorney general’s legal team worked. The court asked the attorney general to submit his letter in the office of the court as per set procedure and adjourned the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2012.