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Senior PPP leader asks Pakistan's chief justice to resign

October 19, 2012 13:12 IST

Pakistan Peoples Party's firebrand leader Faisal Raza Abidi has accused Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry of misusing his authority to favour his son and asked him to resign, contending that the country was virtually under a "judicial martial law".

Asking the chief justice to resign, Abidi, a member of the Senate or upper house of Parliament, demanded a probe against Chaudhry by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, a distant relative of former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani.

He made the remarks while speaking in the Senate on Thursday.

Abidi claimed he had documentary proof that the chief justice had played a role in the promotion and transfer of his son Arsalan Iftikhar when he was in government service. He further alleged that the chief justice had allowed his son to conduct business from his official residence.

Abidi contended that the country was virtually under a "judicial martial law" and the apex court was providing "selective justice" while excessively using the power of taking suo motu actions.

This is the second time in recent months that Abidi, considered close to President Asif Ali Zardari, has targeted the chief justice.

He levelled several allegations against the top judge during appearances on TV talk shows in August.

The chief justice had subsequently directed authorities to conduct a probe against Abidi.

Abidi came to the Senate with several cartons of documents and books, which he handed over to the chairman of the House.

During his speech, he criticised the chief justice for allegedly using the letterhead of the Supreme Court for his family's business and said the judge was guilty of violating the Constitution. He demanded that Justice Jillani should call a meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council to examine the charges against the chief justice.

In August, Abidi had claimed that "a judicial martial law" had been imposed by the chief justice.

He also claimed that the chief justice's son, Arsalan, had indulged in financial impropriety by allegedly accepting payoffs from real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.

Abidi has claimed the PPP is being targeted by the apex court while its opponents were being granted stay orders in key cases.

The PPP dissociated itself from Abidi's outburst and issued him a notice for violating discipline, though no action was taken against him.

While speaking in the Senate, Abidi contended that he had not violated any laws by speaking out against the chief justice as a notification issued in 2005 by the Supreme Judicial Council said any member of the public could bring allegations of misconduct by a judge to the notice of the Council.

Rezaul H Laskar
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