ISLAMABAD: Attorney General Irfan Qadir on Thursday told the Supreme Court that there was no conflict of interest in the execution of his duties on the court orders in suo moto case of Rs342 million alleged business deal between Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.
In compliance with the court order, the principal law officer submitted his five-page reply to the registrar office of the court stating that there was no conflict of interest with regard to his duties as the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) since his presence in court was merely to assist on questions of law and he didn’t represent any party or conflicting interest.
In its verdict on June 14 in the case, the court had mandated Irfan Qadir to set the machinery of the state in motion against those who committed any illegality in the alleged business deal between Dr Arsalan and Malik Riaz.
After the court verdict, the attorney general referred the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for investigation but the NAB was barred after Sardar Ishaq, counsel for Dr Arsalan filed a review petition contenting that the AGP transgressed the terms of the verdict in the case.
Accepting Dr Arsalan’s review petition, the court barred the top anti-graft body from probing the case on August 30 and formed a one-man inquiry commission comprising Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle to investigate the alleged deal and issued a notice to the AGP in the instant matter.
The AGP recalled that he had pointed out to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to recuse himself from the bench hearing the case of his own son. “AGP saved the chief justice from continuing to commit misconduct in violation of his code of conduct and also endeavoured to save the other two judges from continuing to aid the CJP in commission of misconduct,” he claimed.
Irfan Qadir further said it is a matter of record that the chief justice, after violating the code of conduct for two days, eventually realised his illegality on the attorney general’s pointing out and thereafter recused himself from the bench.
The AGP contended that he did nothing wrong and in no manner exceeded the mandate given to him by the Supreme Court in the matter because he only referred to the relevant portion of the court order and simply requested the NAB chairman to proceed according to the law.
The AGP further submitted that court was rightly concerned about “fairness and impartiality” which of course were principles that could not be compromised in any circumstances but he was confused as to how the name of Shoaib Suddle popped up in the first place.
“Is it fair and impartial to appoint Mr Suddle as the inquiry commission after knowing the fact that he (Suddle) was invited to and attended the functions hosted by the chief justice of Pakistan in Dr Arsalan wedding,” he questioned. The AGP prayed for the withdrawal of notice against him and requested the registrar office to place the reply before the court.