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Malik Riaz free of charges


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After the property mogul tendered his unconditional apology, the Supreme Court on Thursday, February 21, 2019 freed Malik Riaz of his contempt of court proceedings which had been filed against him for hurling serious allegations almost six and a half years ago against then chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and his son, Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar, for alleged business deals the two parties had entered while the CJP held office.

A three-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa wrapped up the contempt of court proceedings against the Bahria Town Chairman after accepting his written apology.

The court noted that over the past seven years, the property tycoon had not been in contempt of court again and that his apology was based on good intentions. The apex court also noted that Riaz had taken back the allegations he placed on Dr. Iftikhar.

The property tycoon had accused the then chief justice of holding late-night secret meetings. The conflict had first sprung when Malik Riaz’s off-camera conversation on a scripted show at a local channel went viral.

The apex court observed that an individual who is held in contempt can ask for forgiveness at any stage and said that there was no reason to doubt Riaz’s intentions in tendering the apology. The court also said that they were satisfied with his apology and were, therefore, acquitting the property tycoon.

The contempt proceedings against the property tycoon were filed on June 13, 2012, by a three-judge bench comprising former judges namely Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim that sat beyond normal court timings to issue him a show-cause notice for hurling allegations against the then chief justice at a press conference.

Riaz had raised three questions while addressing the press conference for then chief justice Chaudhry to answer against the backdrop of alleged financial discrepancies by his son, Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar. The property tycoon had accused the then chief justice of holding late-night secret meetings. The conflict had first sprung when Malik Riaz’s off-camera conversation on a scripted show at a local channel went viral.

Read more: Bahria Town case: What is the crime of common citizens?

The notice was taken on a note put up by then registrar of the SC Dr. Faqir Hussain annexing the Urdu transcript of whatever had been stated by Riaz verbatim in the media conference on charges of scandalising and bringing the court and its judges into hatred, ridicule, lowering the SC’s 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 stated.