'Pakistan's Chief Justice should resign'
Lahore: Close on the heels of allegations that his son received millions of rupees from real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain, Pakistan's Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has been asked to separate himself from benches hearing cases against the businessman.
The Chief Justice recused himself from the case against his son Arsalan Iftikhar earlier this week.
While some legal experts have called for the Chief Justice's resignation, others have said he should not hear cases related to Hussain and his real estate firm, Bahria Town.
Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Hussain, said the Chief Justice should not be part of benches hearing cases pertaining to Bahria Town.
Bukhari was engaged by Hussain to defend him in the apex court in the suo moto proceedings against Iftikhar.
Most of the cases involving Hussain and Bahria Town are related to alleged irregularities in real estate deals.
The ruling Pakistan People's Party too has demanded that the Chief Justice should resign without any delay.
"How will other judges of the Supreme Court hold a fair trial of the Chief Justice's son when his father is their boss? We request the Chief Justice to resign, at least till the verdict is given in his son's case," senior PPP leader Raja Riaz said.
According to media reports based on documents in the possession of Hussain, the expenses for several trips by Iftikhar to London and Monte Carlo were paid by members of the tycoon's family. Iftikhar allegedly received money from Hussain to influence the cases in the apex court.
Bukhari today filed an application for the constitution of a larger bench to hear the suo moto proceedings against Iftikhar. Talking to reporters, Bukhari said his client had not given an interview to any journalist about the scam.
He said the interview published in the Jang and The News newspapers yesterday and attributed to Hussain was "fake".
The lawyer further said Hussain would not give any interview to the media and would reveal the facts only in the Supreme Court.
"Hussain will return to Pakistan to appear in the Supreme Court as soon as his doctors allow him to travel," Bukhari said.