Days after a fresh round of allegations of financial impropriety was levelled by a lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Dr Arslan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry denied the allegations, saying some media managers were using him as a tool to conspire against the chief justice.
“I, the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, since June 2005, confirm and consequently condemn that the official residence of the Chief Justice of Pakistan was/has never been utilised for any commercial purpose and/or financial gain,” said Arslan in a letter sent to media on Tuesday.
He also denied the allegations of holding a foreign account in his own name, or someone else’s.
Arslan said the office premises, the accommodation as well as the transport used by him were on rent and he had no property/asset in Pakistan/abroad. Earlier on Sunday, PPP’s Senator Faisal Raza Abidi had alleged that Arslan was using the official residence of the chief justice as his business address.
Abidi demanded resignation from the chief justice but his party not only disowned the views but also sought an explanation for holding such a press conference at central secretariat of the party. “This is to refute, contradict and vociferously deny the allegations leveled by some delinquent elements ‘operating’ in the print and electronic media as well as some political persons who are endeavoring to malign, ridicule and make controversial the personality of the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan,” the letter said.
In order to substantiate his point, Arslan said that “this fact is verified from the service/contractual agreements entered into with multinational and local corporate organisations in Pakistan. The said fact is also evident from the tax challans/income tax returns duly submitted with the Federal Board of Revenue.”
Giving detailed account of his business, the letter said that the M/s FAE (Pvt.) Limited was incorporated on February 4, 2010 with its registered office at 97 A/3, Gulberg III, Lahore.
“And it is categorically stated that no account of M/s. FAE (Pvt.) Limited was opened or has anything to do with the residence of the Chief Justice of Pakistan,” the letter stated.
However, the letter added that F&A Enterprises is a relatively older commercial concern which was established in the year 2004 in Quetta.
In 2008, during the deposed-state of the chief justice, the address for the delivery of bank statement of this sole proprietorship concern was given as that of the house of my father.
“Needless to state that I was, until recently when I was asked to shift out of the official residence by my father, staying at the said official residence, which prerogative I doubt that I did not have and which right any media manager can take away at the behest of those trying to conspire against the worthy chief justice of Pakistan and using me as the tool,” Arslan said.
“Be that as it may, the prompted opponents might be disappointed to know that since January 2012, the address for the delivery of the bank statement was changed to 97 A/3, Gulberg III, Lahore,” the letter added. The letter also defended the company and its business, saying “the clients of our companies are undertaking lawful and genuine business/service transactions with almost all blue chip organisations operating in the telecommunications and financial sector of the country. And, had even one transaction been of suspicion then obviously the mighty opponents would have ensured an engineered probe into the same.”
“All payments received in favour of the company are through cross cheque (as prescribed by Pakistan law) and are also duly recorded with the FBR on which subsequently income tax is paid as due under the income tax ordinance,” the letter added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.