ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday assured the counsel for property tycoon and Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited chairman Malik Riaz Hussain that it would consider any apology if furnished by his client in a contempt of court case.
A three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also asked counsel Dr Abdul Basit to move an application seeking exemption of the property tycoon from personal appearance in the contempt of court case against him.
The directives were issued when the counsel sought the exemption on the grounds that his client was suffering from prostate cancer and currently in the United Kingdom.
Asks Malik Riaz’s counsel to move application seeking exemption from personal appearance
The contempt of court case was initiated against Malik Riaz in 2012 for hurling harsh allegations against then chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar for alleged business deals.
A three-judge SC bench consisting of former judges Justice
Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim had sat after normal court timings on June 13, 2012, to issue a show-cause notice to the property tycoon for hurling the allegations at a press conference a day earlier.
Mr Riaz had raised three questions for then CJP Chaudhry to answer against the backdrop of alleged financial wrongdoings by his son Arsalan Iftikhar. The property tycoon accused the then chief justice of holding late-night secret meetings in the presence of his son.
The notice was taken on a note put up by then SC registrar Dr Faqir Hussain annexing the Urdu transcript of whatever had been stated by Mr Riaz verbatim at the press conference on charges of scandalising and bringing the court and its judges into hatred, ridicule, lowering the SC authority and also showing disrespect to the institution. The press conference also caused obstruction in the administration of justice due to the pending cases related to Bahria Town, the notice had stated.
On Thursday, Dr Basit pleaded before the SC bench that his client did not want to take the stigma to his grave that he had no respect for courts, adding that he would submit an unconditional apology to the apex court in a week.
When the counsel said his client had submitted medical reports from foreign doctors about his ailment, the court said it would have believed had he furnished reports even from local doctors. But the court told the counsel that adjournment would be granted only in case of the death of either his client or the judge hearing the case.
When the counsel argued that the suo motu contempt of court case against his client had been disposed of, the court recalled that his client had already been indicted for committing contempt of the court on Aug 9, 2012.
The court, however, adjourned the proceedings to Feb 21.
The court also disposed of a number of applications relating to alleged business deals between Malik Riaz and Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2019