ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court has sought the list of witnesses and evidences from Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) within three days regarding the contempt of court case against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz for addressing press conference on June 12, in which he had asked three questions to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP).

Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for Malik Riaz, argued before the two-member bench - headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal – that Arsalan Iftikhar should be presented before the court as a witness. He further claimed that a brief cross-examination of Arsalan would make it clear whether he had taken money from Malik Riaz or not and the case could be disposed of easily. Upon this, the court said it was a duty of AGP to present the evidence and he should not interfere in the matter.

Basit said his client has nothing to do with Bahria Town but the case was indirectly affecting the prices of property in the housing project. He also submitted a report before the bench pertaining to his client’s treatment abroad. The report stated that Riaz had a tumour and needed a period of 11 weeks for undergoing treatment abroad.

Basit moreover stated that Riaz was abroad for treatment even when the show-cause notice for contempt of court had been taken against him. He added that his client was seriously ill and that an operation to treat his ailment had become unavoidable.

On the other hand, petitioner Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar said that Riaz’ appearance was mandatory in a contempt of court case against him, adding that, his treatment was also possible in Pakistan.

Gujjar also stated that he had filed a request before the court to put Mali Riaz’ name to the Exit Control List (ECL).

Upon this, Justice Afzal said that every individual had a right to have treatment of his own choice, adding that, a trial against Riaz could also be conducted in absentia.

Basit requested the bench that case should be heard after the verdict on the intra-court appeal. The court said that the contempt of court case against Malik Riaz would not be stopped, as the other bench is hearing the intra-court appeals.

The court asked Malik Riaz to ensure his appearance on the next date of hearing. It has also given three days to the AGP for collecting the evidence for the trial.

The bench further asked the petitioners to produce witnesses and evidences against business tycoon as well.

The case hearing was adjourned till September 17.

Agencies add: Basit said the role of the petitioners in this case has ended, as prosecution work now rests with the AGP and sought Malik Riaz’ exemption until the decision of the case, which the court didn’t approve.

Basit further pointed out that the prosecution has still not submitted the list of witnesses and evidences.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the court that he would submit the list of witnesses and evidences within three days.

The court adjourned the hearing until September 17 and also ordered Malik Riaz to be present on resumption of hearing.