Pak SC rejects appeal for larger bench to hear CJ's son's case

Pakistan's Supreme Court today rejected a request for the formation of a larger bench to hear a suo moto case regarding the alleged payment of about Rs 400 million by a real estate tycoon to Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son.

A bench comprising Justices Jawwad S Khwaja and Khilji Arif Hussain, which is currently hearing the matter, rejected the request made by Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.

The Chief Justice initiated the suo moto proceedings but recused himself from the case against his son Arsalan Iftikhar earlier this week.

The tycoon's lawyer had submitted an application for the constitution of a larger bench this morning.

He said a larger bench should hear the case as it was an important matter having implications at the national level.

The apex court had directed the tycoon and the Chief Justice's son to submit detailed statements today.

However, the tycoon did not submit any statement as he is currently being treated for a medical condition abroad and is expected to return to Pakistan next week.

Arsalan Iftikhar submitted a five-page statement that said all the allegations levelled against him were baseless.

He asked the court to take action against the tycoon for making false allegations against him and for involving the judiciary in the matter.

Iftikhar said he had personally borne all expenses for his trips abroad during 2009-11 and submitted documents to back up his claims. 

According to Pakistani 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 several cases in the apex court.

Most of the cases in the apex court involving Hussain and Bahria Town, his real estate firm, are related to alleged irregularities in real estate deals.

The next hearing of the suo moto case will be held on June 11.

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