Days after being reinstated as Pakistan's chief justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry seems to be living up to his promise of rooting out corruption from the judiciary with action being initiated against a top judge for his alleged criminal links."For the first time in the country's history, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has initiated suo moto proceedings against a high court chief justice over allegations of involvement in murky activities including connections with the crime underworld," The News reported on Friday, quoting judicial sources.
According to sources, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Bilal Khan was aware of the SJC proceedings against him.The SJC is tasked with checking misconduct, moral degradation and corruption in the higher echelons of the judiciary.Chaudhry, when he resumed office March 24, had pledged to purge the judiciary of corruption and inefficiency.
Justice Iftikhar admitted that stories of corruption in the judiciary were becoming increasingly frequent in the public.The March 7 appointment of Khan, who had previously served for six years as a judge of the Lahore High Court, had sparked widespread criticism in legal and political circles.
The News had in February carried a report by its Editor Investigation Ansar Abbasi quoting a police letter to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Zahid Hussain on the confessions of Fayyaz Rasool alias Nanno Goraya, an alleged high-profile gangster, about his links with Khan.
The Supreme Court last week asked Abbasi to provide details and evidence on the basis of which he had filed the stories."I have furnished all the evidence, including a CD containing confessions of Fayyaz Rasool alias Nanno Goraya, in which he boasts of his contact with then Lahore High Court judge Justice Bilal."Other pieces of evidence include the inquiry report of SP Syed Ali Mohsin into the case, a letter from RPO (regional police officer) Zulfikar Cheema and the statement by the LHC Chief Justice Zahid Hussain in which he confirmed receiving the police letter regarding Justice Bilal's connection with Goraya," Abbasi said.
The News also reproduced parts of RPO Cheema's letter to the Lahore High Court."As regards the interrogation report of the notorious underworld don Fayyaz Rasool alias Nanno Goraya, it is submitted that a team head by SP/CIA Gujranwala Mr. Ali Mohsin interrogated him thoroughly to unearth his network and supporters, etc.
"SP/CIAs report, in which Nanno Goraya had made startling revelations about his meeting with a high court judge, brought the shock of my life.The interrogation report also supported the links of the same judge of the high court with criminals like Nanno Goraya and Baoo Khalid, nothing can be more dangerous for any society if the individuals have their supporter in the judiciary," the letter stated.