ISLAMABAD: The hype and sensation that the Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz tried to create by asking three questions from the chief justice of Pakistan died a quick death as not only the Registrar Supreme Court but also senior advocate Aitzaz Ahsan came out to belie his claims openly on the media.
Apparently, it seems to be a conspiracy to scandalise the Supreme Court with the intention that the chief justice should detach himself from the benches hearing the Bahria Town cases.
Malik Riaz first appeared before the Supreme Court on Tuesday where he submitted a concise statement, stating that he respected the Chief Justice of Pakistan but minutes after the hearing, the same Malik Riaz, while holding the Holy Quran in his hand, hurled three shallow questions at Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while addressing a press conference.
Malik Riaz questioned: “Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should reveal how many meetings have been held between I and CJ in the darkness of night? Was Arsalan Iftikhar not a part of these meetings, does he not know me? The sitting registrar was also present during several of these meetings.”
Dr Faqir Hussain, Registrar Supreme Court, while talking to The News, replied to this question that the Chief Justice of Pakistan used to meet many people who would request him for a meeting during the days when he was deposed.
“Upon Malik Riaz’s request, the chief justice met him a few times in my presence. Malik Riaz claimed that he had played a role between the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s negotiations and, therefore, he also wanted to play his role in the restoration of judiciary. Malik Riaz wanted that the CJ should meet President Asif Ali Zardari but his request was declined by the CJ. Another of Malik Riaz’s offer of a bullet-proof vehicle for the chief justice was also declined by Justice Iftikhar Chauhdry.”
Secondly, Malik Riaz of Bahria Town asked the CJ in his press conference: “How many meetings were held at the residence of Ahmed Khalil between the chief justice and prime minister and was there also an acting judge of the Supreme Court present during one of the meetings?”
The Registrar replied to this question by saying that the chief justice did meet Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani at a few social gatherings but it was not comprehensible how this could be scandalised. “Anyone who wants to dig something out of these meetings should bring forth any judgment of the Supreme Court in which he believes some favour was given to the prime minister or anyone else. The judgments of the Supreme Court are open before all,” the Registrar replied.
Arsalan Iftikhar admits that Ahmad Khalil, the entrapper, was his fast friend till recently and Arsalan and family were invited to an Eid get together where not only the chief justice but another judge of the SC, who was also a family friend of Ahmad Khalil, was present. The prime minister’s uninvited arrival in that meeting created panic among the invitees and the CJ left minutes after the arrival of the PM.
Malik Riaz’s third question was, “How long did the chief justice know about this case and why did he wait till the media reports to take suo moto notice?”
When the Registrar of Supreme Court was asked this question, he replied that according to his information, the chief justice was never provided with any evidence and the moment the media broke the story of presence of evidence which was shown to journalists, the CJ took suo moto notice on the same day.
Moreover, senior advocate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan also belied Malik Riaz’s claims by saying that he had told the CJ about the sensitivity of the matter but did not show him any documents in this regard.
Aitzaz also said that he did not follow up with the chief justice on the issue afterwards. “Malik Riaz had shown me the documents some time ago and it was my duty to inform the CJ about it. He thanked me for coming and said he would ask Arsalan about this.”