ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned to Thursday the hearing of a suo motu notice taken on allegations that Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, had been doled out Rs300 to 400 million by property tycoon Malik Riaz, DawnNews reported.
The case was heard by a three-judge bench comprising the chief justice, Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
Arsalan Iftikhar was defended by Sardar Ishaque Advocate. Prior to the start of the hearing, Arsalan Iftikhar told reporters that he was innocent and that he had been told not to return home until a judgment was reached.
Riaz, also the owner of Bahria Town, had failed to appear in court for the hearing.
During the hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir raised objection to the inclusion of Chief Justice Iftikhar on the bench hearing the case.
Qadir moreover said it was a legal requirement that Chief Justice Iftikhar, being father of Arsalan Iftikhar, should not head the bench.
Responding to which, the chief justice said that being the head of the apex court he could summon anyone.
He said the case was not of a political nature and that he would not step down from the bench hearing it. Justice Khwaja and Justice Khilji supported the chief justice’s decision.
Furthermore, the chief justice said that if allegations against his son were proved true, he would be punished in accordance with the law.
He directed the parties involved in the case to produce evidence in the court by tomorrow (June 7). The bench has also summoned journalists.
The bench also directed IG Islamabad to take the record of Bahria Town in his possession and produce relevant evidence for the case in court.
Justice Khwaja raised questions over the absence of Riaz from the hearing upon which Riaz’s representative said that he was undergoing medical treatment in the United Kingdom which was why he could not be present for the proceedings.
Responding to the representative’s explanation, the chief justice inquired if Riaz had gone for treatment before the matter of his involvement with Arsalan Iftikhar came up.
Moreover, Justice Khwaja asked the representative if he had been in touch with Riaz during the past 10-12 hours which he denied.
Riaz is facing a number of cases in the Supreme Court moved by a number of aggrieved persons who have accused him of grabbing large chunks of land and merging them into Bahria Town.