Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a real estate firm and journalists to submit relevant material regarding allegations that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son Arsalan Iftikhar had been paid up to Rs 400 million by tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain to influence cases in the apex court.
In a controversial move, the chief justice himself headed a three-judge bench that initiated suo moto proceedings after TV news channels reported the alleged links between Iftikhar and Hussain, one of Pakistan's richest men.
During the proceedings, Attorney General Irfan Qadir objected to the Chief Justice's inclusion in the bench, saying it amounted to conflict of interest.
The chief justice took note of the objection and pledged that anyone, including his son, who affected the dignity of the apex court would not be spared.
The chief justice said if the allegations against his son were proved true, he would be punished in accordance with the law.
"Whosoever may be involved in maligning the institution, I will be the last person to spare him," he said.
For the past few days, the Pakistani capital has been abuzz with reports of improper links between the chief justice's son and Hussain.
The apex court was forced to act after TV news channels reported the matter late Tuesday night.
The chief justice directed officials of Hussain's real estate firm and several TV journalists to produce all materials in their possession in court by Thursday.
He further directed the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan to provide the file on Bahria Town, the real estate firm owned by Hussain.