A two-judge apex court bench expressed its surprise on Wednesday over the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) move to summon Registrar of the Supreme Court Dr Faqir Hussain in connection with a graft case involving Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, Malik Riaz and Riaz’s son-in-law Salman Khan.
The bench, comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, questioned why the registrar had been summoned by NAB when the case had nothing to do with him.
Sardar Ishaq, counsel for Arsalan Iftikhar, reiterated earlier claims that the case was part of the propaganda campaign to malign the apex court. On the other hand, Zahid Bokhari, the counsel for Malik Riaz, told the court that it should not be considered a controversy between Malik Riaz and the Supreme Court, but strictly a matter between Riaz and Arsalan.
The court observed that it would look into the matter as the registrar’s summoning concerned the court, while asking Arsalan’s lawyer to confine himself to his case.
Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, filed a petition in the Supreme Court on June 13 to review the court’s decision in the suo motu notice pertaining to allegations against him. Ishaq read out the petition which showed Arsalan’s mistrust in Attorney General Irfan Qadir and the NAB’s investigation team. He said that the attorney general had misinterpreted the court’s verdict and the team formed by NAB was illegal.
Ishaq asked the court to appoint a retired judge of the superior courts or a retired bureaucrat to head the inquiry in the case, adding that NAB, FIA and Islamabad police were all under the influence of Malik Riaz or Rehman Malik.
Arsalan’s counsel went on to add that Riaz’s son-in-law Salman Khan is due to appear before NAB’s Joint Investigation Team probing the Arsalan Iftikhar-Malik Riaz case.
On the request of Zahid Bokhari, the court adjourned the case till Thursday (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.