Court sends Parvez Elahi on judicial remand in illegal appointments case
The PTI president was re-arrested immediately after court orders acquittal on Saturday
LAHORE (Dunya News) – A district court on Sunday sent PTI President Parvez Elahi on 14-day judicial remand in a case pertaining to illegal recruitments in the Punjab Assembly.
The court rejected the the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) request for physical remand of Mr Elahi and sent him on judicial remand.
Earlier, the ACE produced former Punjab chief minister Chauhdry Parvez Elahi before a local court in connection with the illegal appointment case.
The PTI stalwart was produced before the duty magistrate at the Lahore's district court. He was shifted to the ACE headquarters Lahore from Gujranwala on Saturday night.
Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk heard the case and reserved the verdict.
ACE officials on Saturday night arrested PTI president Parvez Elahi for the third time in a row immediately after an anti-corruption court acquitted him in two corruption cases lodged against him in Gujranwala.
The ACE DG said he was arrested in the third case, pertaining to bogus recruitments in Punjab Assembly, lodged against him in Lahore.
Duty judicial magistrate Muhammad Afzal had pronounced the verdict he reserved on Mr Elahi's physical remand in both cases lodged in Gujranwala. The court reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides.
Mr Elahi said before the court that he had not been provided with his medicines in the jail, adding that he was not afraid of such cases. "I shall face them," he added.
Talking to the media after appearing before the court, he said the court's ruling would be implemented in letter and spirit, adding that it was a test for the judiciary. "It will elevate the judiciary's dignity and court will rule right," he added.
Mr Elahi had been presented before court in Gujranwala today (Saturday) amid tight security. Police, in a statement, said security had been tightened around the court ahead of the appearance of Mr Elahi in order to avoid any untoward situation.
Two cases are registered against the PTI leader at anti-corruption establishment’s (AEC) Gujranwala directorate. He is accused of receiving Rs2 billion in bride in various development projects.
The ACE has pleaded the court to grant the physical remand of Mr Elahi to interrogate him in the cases.
Elahi backs PTI
Before joining the hearing, Parvez Elahi told reporters that even if 100 cases were registered [against me], it won't make any difference.
He said his message to PTI members and supporters was to “put up a fight against these tactics employed by them [authorities] with bravery and not to get worried”. “Stand firm and continue to fight against them,” he added.
پی ٹی آئی والے ڈٹ کر کھڑے رہیں، ہتھکنڈوں کا مقابلہ کریں، پرویز الہیٰ— PTI (@PTIofficial) June 4, 2023
ACE arrests PA secretary over bogus recruitments
ACE also arrested Punjab Assembly (PA) secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain over bogus recruitments.
ACE spokesperson said former Punjab CM Parvez Elahi made 12 illegal appointments to the grade 17, adding that the Assembly's record was forged to do so. “Fake testing services were hired for the recruitment process,” he added.
The spokesperson went on to say that Mr Mumtaz connived with Mr Elahi to make appointments.
Elahi rearrested by police
The anti-corruption watchdog rearrested PTI President Parvez Elahi from outside a Lahore court moments after he got discharged in the graft case on Friday.
ACE Director General Suhail Zafar Chattha said the department would move the court against the verdict announced by the Lahore court. "The verdict has been announced in contrast to the merit," he added.
The anti-corruption team had sought 14-day physical remand of the senior politician in order to interrogate him in the case. The judge announced the decision after hearing arguments from both sides.
Speaking to media outside the court, the former Punjab chief minister had said he was innocent and a “supporter of Pakistan Army”. In a message to the party workers, he asked them to stand firm and did not lose courage.
Mr Elahi was first arrested by a team of ACE, with the help of police, on Thursday from outside of his residence, Zahoor Elahi Palace, over graft charges.
The arrest came as an anti-corruption court of Lahore had, earlier, rejected Mr Elahi's bail petition in a case of alleged corruption in development projects.
Mr Elahi's lawyer had told the court that the former chief minister was suffering from chest pain and could not appear in court. The prosecution argued that the medical certificate submitted by Parvez Elahi’s counsel in court was fake.
The court dismissed the interim bail plea of Parvez Elahi on the ground of non-compliance and also rejected the PTI leader's request for an attendance waiver.