ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday gave Malik Riaz seven days to hire counsel in the contempt of court case, Geo News reported.
The SC also rejected the plea to put Malik Riaz’s name on the exit control list (ECL) saying there is no need as he came from London on the court’s directive.
The court asked Riaz to not ask for more time for counsel's preparation after seven days.
As the order was read out to him, Riaz revealed that he cannot understand English, that is why, the order was read again in Urdu.
“I am trying to contract high-profile lawyers including Aitzaz Ahsan but failed to succeed in hiring one. I am hopeful that I will be able to hire someone soon,” Riaz told the bench.
The hearing was later adjourned till June 21.
Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain is facing contempt charges over a press conference that scandalised and ridiculed the judiciary relating to the Dr Arsalan case.
The SC had issued a show cause notice to Riaz on Wednesday and directed him to appear today.
A three-member special bench of the apex court comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim conducted the hearing of the case “Contempt proceedings against Malik Riaz Hussain by order of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.”
On Wednesday, Justice Shakirullah read out the draft of the press conference organised by Malik Riaz Hussain and called the contents of the conference, prima facie, as contempt of court. Issuing a show cause notice, Justice Shakirullah Jan said Malik Riaz Hussain was directed to appear before the court today and explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him.
Justice Shakirullah revealed that the suo moto was taken of the Riaz presser on the grounds of the registrar’s note which he placed before the SC, providing the contents of the press conference held by Malik Riaz on Tuesday evening.
Justice Shakirullah Jan observed that Malik Riaz, in his press conference, tried to scandalise and bring the court and judges of the apex court into ridicule and cause obstruction in the administration of justice because of the pendancy of his (Malik) cases.
“We issue show cause notice to Riaz Hussain Malik in terms of Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that with a pocket-sized copy of the Holy Quran in his hand, Malik Riaz Hussain on Tuesday hurled serious but contradictory allegations on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his son Arsalan Iftikhar during a press conference at a local hotel on Tuesday. Malik also claimed that there was no free judiciary in the country, saying that it was being run by a ‘don’, namely Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of the CJ.
Malik Riaz, in his press conference, had also urged the chief justice to tell the nation how many times he (Malik) and the CJ met in the ‘darkness of night.’
Meanwhile, the SC bench also issued a show cause notice to Malik Riaz against a petition filed by Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar, former president of Islamabad High Court Bar Association, on Tuesday morning. The petitioner sought that the court order to punish Malik Riaz by taking contempt of court action against him for abusing, scandalising, ridiculing and bringing disrespect, disrepute and hatred towards the CJ and the apex court.