Leaders of the ruling Pakistan People's Party believe that the allegations of corruption levelled against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son have some link to the Supreme Court's decision to disqualify Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of the Chief Justice, has been accused of receiving payments of over Rs. 342 million from property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain to influence cases in the apex court.
The tycoon has acknowledged making the payments in a statement submitted to the Supreme Court, which directed authorities to take action against Iftikhar and Hussain.
"Since the Chief Justice's son case surfaced, the case to disqualify the Prime Minister was suddenly taken up by the Supreme Court and we had the decision regarding Gilani’s disqualification," senior PPP leader Usman Salim Malik told PTI.
A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice yesterday disqualified Gilani as a member of parliament due to his conviction of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The apex court also overruled the National Assembly Speaker's decision not to disqualify Gilani following his conviction in April.
Malik said after the corruption case involving the Chief Justice's son, it seemed as if the apex court was in a hurry to "punish" Gilani.
"As the Speaker's ruling cannot be challenged at any forum, the court's decision leaves several questions unanswered. Only time will reveal the real motive behind the decision of the bench led by the Chief Justice in Gilani’s case," he said.
"It is a biased decision as the courts have always targeted PPP governments. We reject this verdict and the masses will give a befitting reply to it in the next election," Malik said.
PPP secretary general Jehangir Badar said it was not the first time that such a decision had been given against a PPP leader by the judiciary.
He said since the corruption allegations against Iftikhar came to the limelight, the PPP was expecting something "unusual".
Badar said: "And the inevitable happened."
He added: "Conspiracies had been hatched against the PPP since it came to power in 2008. PPP workers are dejected and disappointed over the apex court's decision but they will continue their struggle to strengthen democracy."
Badar said the PPP could organise countrywide protests against the "unfair and biased" verdict but it would show restraint for the sake of democracy.
"We do not want a clash of institutions," he said.
Malik contended that the judiciary had given nine years to military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who violated the constitution, but never allowed PPP governments to complete their terms.
"There are different standards of justice for the Sharif brothers (PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif) and the Bhuttos. The judiciary in the past restored the Sharifs while it sent the PPP Prime Minister packing," said another PPP leader who did not want to be named.
Gilani's special assistant Chaudhry Aslam Gill said the apex court had already made up its mind to send the premier home.
"No legal arguments have any value when a judge has already made up his mind in a case," he said.