The Supreme Court rejected on Thursday Dr Arsalan Iftikhar’s plea for a restraining order against the National Accountability Bureau’s investigation team, formed to probe alleged illegal deals between him and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.
Through his counsel, the chief justice’s son requested the court to block the Joint Investigation Team from continuing its probe till the verdict on his review petition is announced. A two-judge special bench, however, declined his plea.
During the hearing, the court asked NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha to investigate Malik Riaz’s son-in-law Salman Ali Khan, as it seemed that the investigating team was missing the main link.
Agha informed the court that the JIT had already summoned Salman, who is set to appear before it next week.
Meanwhile, KK Agha informed the court of the details of JIT members.
He also expressed his confusion over allegations leveled by Dr Arsalan against the members for being biased, particularly SP Faisal Bashir Memon.
The NAB prosecutor general further told the bench that Supreme Court Registrar Faqir Hussain’s refusal to appear before the JIT gave the impression that since he is the registrar of the apex court, he is above the law.
Justice Jawwad, however, said, “If I received such notice from NAB, my reply would have been stronger than the registrar’s.”
He further questioned why NAB failed to mentioned the reasons for Hussain’s summon, adding that “don’t follow old-thana culture,” where if the SHO summons someone he was brought before him without any justification.
Suo motu notice taken against ‘fake’ story
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo motu notice of an alleged conspiracy hatched against the court’s registrar, on Thursday.
According to a local magazine, Faqir Hussain was over-stepping his jurisdiction, by seeking tax returns and verification of receipts from the companies that provided services to Dr Arsalan.
The story published on June 22 in Weekly Pulse magazine, quoting a well placed source in one of the companies, claimed Hussain sent multiple emails asking about tax returns and details of postings of income from Dr Arsalan.
However, the registrar denied the allegations. “Fake accounts were used in my name,” Hussain wrote in his letter to the chief justice.
Hussain added that the editor of the magazine Mohsin Baig was asked to tender an unconditional apology for publishing a concocted story about him. Baig, however, refused to do so.
In this regard, the chief justice issued a notice to Baig and referred the matter to the two-member bench hearing Dr Arsalan’s petition.
The bench has sought a reply from Baig by August 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.