PTI President Parvez Elahi will be presented before a Lahore district court today (Sunday) — after he was re-arrested for the second time in two days — in a case pertaining to “illegal recruitments” in the Punjab Assembly.
According to an Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) spokesperson, Elahi would be produced before a judicial magistrate for physical remand.
“We have re-arrested Mr Elahi in a case related to the recruitments of 12 Grade-17 officers in the Punjab Assembly against merit. He got changed the results of these candidates belonging to Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin. We have collected evidence and also arrested Secretary Punjab Assembly Rai Mumtaz Hussain in this regard,” he told Dawn.
Ahead of today’s hearing, Elahi’s lawyer Rana Intizar told Dawn.com that he would continue to fight the PTI president’s case despite threats.
“This is my job and no one can stop me from doing it,” he said, condemning the interim government’s “interference” in the matters of the court.
The former chief minister was first arrested by ACE officials from outside his residence on June 1 in a corruption case. However, the court termed charges against Elahi not “well-founded” and discharged him.
Soon after his discharge, Elahi was taken into custody again by anti-corruption officials in two cases — registered in Gujranwala — accusing him of causing a loss of Rs100 million to the national exchequer and receiving kickbacks during his time as Punjab chief executive.
On Saturday, Elahi was produced before Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Afzal’s court in Gujranwala. After the arguments from the ACE and Elahi’s lawyers, the court discharged the PTI president in both cases and ordered his immediate release if he was not required in any other case.
But the PTI president was arrested yet again eluded of his liberty and arrested for “illegal recruitments” in the Punjab Assembly.
ACE Director General Sohail Zafar Chattha said Elahi had been discharged in two corruption cases on “technical grounds” by the judicial magistrate Gujranwala that there was no mechanism to arrest a chief minister.
“The ACE has observed all legal and codal formalities for initiation of the inquiry and subsequent arrest of the former chief minister. There was no violation of any law or rules. The ACE will file an appeal against the judgment to discharge the accused as there is strong evidence of corruption in the project against him,” Chattha added.
‘Standing with PTI like a rock’
Talking to reporters on the court premises yesterday, Elahi said that despite being ill, he was not provided medicines despite having medical reports.
“I was kept in the most stinking place in custody. I was not even allowed to go to the washroom,” he alleged and added that what was happening to him was a “well thought-out conspiracy” against him.
“However, I will not leave the PTI as I am standing with it like a rock,” Elahi declared.
Separately, PTI president’s son Moonis Elahi said his father was being arrested under “revenge agenda”.