SC dissolves Suddle Commission probing Arsalan Iftikhar case

General Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday dissolved one-man judicial commission comprising Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Shoaib Suddle , which had been tasked to investigate allegations of a Rs342 million business deal between Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and a real property tycoon Malik Riaz Ahmad and submit its report with the apex court.

A two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain dissolved Suddle Commission after examining the report filed by the commission on Thursday. The court also ordered that the commission’s report be made public.

The court observed that there was no need to probe this case any further as it was an issue between two individuals and they could take it to any forum. The court noted that it had taken notice into the issue when judiciary was being dragged into the matter, but since that had not been proven, the commission was no longer needed.

During the hearing, Zahid Bokhari, counsel for Malik Riaz, told the court that the matter was between two individuals and did not involve corruption from the national exchequer, thus was required to be disposed of. He also requested the court to stop the commission from further proceedings, so that any of the party which wanted to take any available legal recourse may approach the concerned forum.
Later, while talking to media outside the Supreme Court, Bokhari said that justice had prevailed, adding that, his client had been raising objections over the legality of the commission from day one. He said his client’s objections on the commission’s report had been noted by the court. He said Suddle commission had no legal or constitutional authority to examine and investigate the funds of Bahria Town.

According to commission’s preliminary report shared with media, Arsalan Iftikhar had admitted before the commission that he had availed two of the three foreign visits alleged by Malik Riaz in a graft case being heard in the Supreme Court.

Besides, Arsalan Iftikhar admitted that he had received ‘favours’ from Malik Riaz, his friend or his son-in-law, but the report did not answer why he had accepted these and nor did it explain Malik Riaz’s claim that he had ‘favoured’ Arsalan Iftikhar in order to get court cases against him settled in his favor.