Chief Justice scion Scam – Information leak evaporates in thin air???
Chief Justice scion Scam – Information leak evaporates in thin air???
The scandal involving Arslan Iftikhar, scion of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhriy, and property tycoon Malik Riaz took the whole nation by storm but despite the late night suo motu notice of the matter taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan against his son and other characters of the scandal, there is thick mist of confusion at the political horizon and many a questions are still needed to be answered. It is yet to be ascertained whether, self-proclaimed kingmaker and rightly so, Chief Executive of Bharia Town Malik Riaz Ahmad, has trapped the scion of Chief Justice of Pakistan or he himself has been entrapped in a snare laid down by some element not exposed so far and his role in the whole process is no more than a bait. The case which on face of it seemed quite simple would likely lead to some startling disclosures in coming days and would galvanize in range and scope involving a lot many powerful players in this dirty game of lust for money and power.
On face of it the case in the eyes of political and legal minds would unlikely proceed any further as the key player, Chief Executive of Bharia Town Malik Riaz, has already sidetracked, if not totally backed out, from the stance which he had taken at the time of leaking information of his alleged greasing of Arslan Iftikhar palm to seek some favour from the Chief Justice of Pakistan in a number of pending cases against him and his business empire, to some media persons.
The most significant aspect of these leaks to some TV anchors is that none of these anchors were provided with some evidence and they were just shown some evidences of Bharia Town’s payments for the foreign trips of Arslan Iftikhar and his family members. Some insiders aware of the developments taking place on this front sharing information about the Malik Riaz’s leaks to media persons said that account numbers and credit cards shown to media persons were al fake and were not actually belonged to the people to whom these were attributed. Similarly, as no evidence was provided to the media persons, so Malik Riaz could easily back out from all what he had shared with media, the way he had already done in case of his interview published in a section of press on Friday. A senior politician commenting on the situation said that as far as Arslam Iftikhar bribe scandal is concerned ‘it is an open and shut case’ because the person who has accused Arslam Iftikhar, for taking money from him for getting some favour in the pending cases against him(Malik Riaz) and his property empire in Supreme Court of Pakistan would definitely going to back out from his claim. In that case it would extremely difficult for the court to proceed with the case in the absence of a complainant, especially in the case where no favour to anybody in any of the cases in the apex court could be proved. The court could fix up Malik Riaz and his Bharia Town in other matters, including the land grabbing charges, alleged tax evasion, dubious agreements with Defence Housing Authority and a number of other related matters, but it would again be quite challenging for the apex court to expand the scope of the case, especially implicating big guns in the country and extremely powerful institutions enjoying the status of ‘holy cows’ in this land of pure.
National Accountability Bureau has already taken up the dubious deal of Rs. 62 billion between the Bharia Town and DHA, leaving around 1.5 lakh allottees of DHA Valley high and dry as their hard earned money alleged a former employee of Defence House Authority Col (retd) Tariq Kamal, who has even attempted to lodge case against the deal but could not manage, so because of the strong and powerful roots of Malik Riaz in power echelons.
Taking stern action, as expected the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, has taken Suo Motu notice of the matter and then after initial hearing on the case, took a wise decision to dissociate himself from the bench anticipating the general mood of the lawyers fraternity and public at large and on the repeated requests by the Attorney General of Pakistan. But before stepping out of the three members bench he had drawn the broader contours of the case by directing FBR to bring record of the tax payments of Bharia Town and it is expected from the tone and tenor of the judges that in coming days the apex court could go beyond the limits and scope of the case and very powerful persons across the national spectrum and institutions could be implicated the mega scams shrouding Bharia Town and Malik Riaz.
But in the view of some legal and constitutional experts having a strong background of currents and under-currents of national politics were of considered view that the court would strictly confine itself to the case at hand and that was the reason the application moved by the counsel of Malik Riaz for constitution of a larger bench was turned down by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The case in hand prima facie is a simple as a person Malik Riaz Ahmad had allegedly greased the palm of Chief Justice of Pakistan’s son to get relief in the cases pending against him from the apex court. As expected the scion of Chief Justice of Pakistan in his written statement submitted before the apex court on Saturday (June 9) has given a completely different version to what he had been talking with media persons over a past few days. He simply said that his foreign trips had nothing to do with Bharia Town or Malik Riaz and that he himself had made all payments be it the rent of the flat he hired or the shopping he and his other family members had done during these trips. Some insiders expected that in coming days Malik Riaz would also came up with a similar sort of statement showing complete ignorance to all what was reported in media and so on. So, in that case the apex court would left with little choice but to close down the case.
But the fact of the matter is that beneath this tip of ‘corruption iceberg’ there is beyond imagination mass which raises many a serious questions. Whether Malik Riaz has trapped the scion of the Chief Justice of Pakistan just to get some favour in the pending cases against him or he himself played a pawn in the hands of some hidden forces with some other designs. The alleged role of Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan in the whole episode raises many an eyebrows and even some insiders were also linking the whole matter with the conspiracy of tabling of a reference against Chief Justice of Pakistan in the Supreme Judicial Council after launching a methodical vilification campaign against him for which some foreign journalists were also engaged as reported by some media person who had met Malik Riaz.
The nervous statements coming from PPP diehard activists like Fawad Chaudhry and the close relations between President Zardari and Malik Riaz also self-explanatory and giving rise to suspicions.
Another major question needed to be answered is how Arslan Iftikhar had expanded his business volume to 900 millions in a very short span of time and a peep into his business deals would also be self-explanatory. The judiciary has to come up with its hands clean in the whole affair as a little slip or compromise at this critical juncture would ruin everything, which neither the apex judiciary nor the poor masses could afford, who have seen the only ray of hope in shape of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry since the creation of the motherland.
By: Syed Abid Gillani