Under the directive of the Supreme Court, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has dissolved the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), tasked to probe the allegations of Malik Raiz about under-the-table deal between him and Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.

NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha informed the apex court that the decision of dissolving the bureau’s special team was made after consultations with Chairman NAB Admiral (Retd) Fashih Bokhari.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja resumed the hearing of case pertaining to corruption scandal against Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Raiz, the business tycoon.

The Prosecutor General observed, “The close connection of Rural Superintendent Police (SP) Faisal Bashir Memon was proved right while investigating Dr Arsalan’s apprehensions over the JIT. The bureau does not doubt the credibility of Memon but it is for the greater good that we form a new investigation team”.

Earlier, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar had filed a review petition against the court’s earlier verdict, which directed the Attorney General Irfan Qadir to formulate a body to investigate the alleged financial transactions between Arsalan Iftikhar and son-in-law of Malik Riaz.

Advocate Sardar Ishaq, the counsel for Dr Arsalan, objected an inherent bias on part of the JIT since SP Memon was included in it. It is vital to mention here that Memon had served as Malik Riaz’s security guard during his appearance before the court.

He added, “The AG has a personal vendetta against the chief justice and was biased against his client, citing an earlier letter written by Qadir to NAB’s chairman”.

Meanwhile, Zahid Bokhari, the counsel for Malik Raiz, prayed the court to direct the lower courts to stop hearing cases against his clients until the matter was decided in the apex court.

He asserted, “Because of this case, lower courts are expeditiously hearing cases against my client [Riaz]”. Justice Khawaja, however, rejected the plea.

At the same time, Justice Hussain expressed shock over the four weeks protective bail granted to the real estate tycoon by the Sindh High Court. He asked, “How did he manage to get four weeks protective bail”.

Upon which, Zahid Bokhari said they would have never been able to get the bail if it was Punjab. Later, the bench adjourned the hearing for fifteen weeks.