With eyebrows being raised in all quarters about him presiding over the bench that was hearing a corruption case against his son, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday recused himself and announced the creation of two-judge bench for the purpose.
His son Arsalaan Chaudhry was present in court for the second consecutive day but the man who is alleged to have paid him Rs. 300 million to influence the Court in a slew of cases against him, Malik Riaz, did not respond to the summons in person again. His lawyer claimed that Mr. Riaz was undergoing treatment in London.
During the course of the proceedings, the Chief Justice said he was unaware of his son's business deals. As for Dr. Arsalaan, The News quoted him as saying he was unaware that Mr. Riaz — a property tycoon — had picked up his bills for accommodation and shopping during foreign trips over the past couple of years.
Several anchor persons have been summoned to court over the past two days for talking about the whispering campaign regarding the allegations against Dr. Arsalaan in their programmes on Tuesday night. It was after these programmes were aired that the Chief Justice took suo motu notice and summoned his son to court on Wednesday.
Ever since what was mentioned in a hushed manner behind closed doors has become the most debated issue. While many are of the view that the Chief Justice redeemed himself by summoning his son to court, others wondered whether this would be the undoing of the only institution that offered some hope to the people.