ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has barred a joint investigation team (JIT) from probing the alleged underhand transactions between real-estate developer Malik Riaz and the chief justice’s son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.
A two-member bench of the apex court on Tuesday ordered the JIT to suspend its investigations till the court decides a petition questioning alleged partiality of the investigators.
The bench also turned down a request from NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha for a larger bench to hear Dr Arsalan’s review petition.
Sardar Ishaq, counsel for Dr Arsalan, tried to convince the bench that some JIT members would have an apparent bias against his client since they were closely associated with Malik Riaz and were also previously affected by his father’s – the chief justice’s – rulings.
On the request of Attorney General Irfan Qadir, the NAB chairman had constituted a five-member JIT to probe Malik Riaz’s charges against Dr Arasalan.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, during Tuesday’s hearing, observed that apparently the AG had violated court orders by asking the government to “set the state machinery in motion” by only choosing NAB for this purpose and supervising the investigation himself.
The court adjourned the case till August 2.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.