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Tuesday May 28, 2024

Elahi arrested after being released again

ACE officials say Parvez Elahi arrested in illegal recruitment case this time

By Azam Butt & Sher Ali Khalti
June 04, 2023
Parvez Elahi is being escorted to the anti-corruption court by guards on June 2, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews
Parvez Elahi is being escorted to the anti-corruption court by guards on June 2, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews 

GUJRANWALA/LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was arrested again on Saturday just a few minutes after a Gujranwala court discharged him in two corruption cases. The court had discharged the PTI president in the two corruption cases registered against him at Gujranwala’s anti-corruption police station for allegedly taking kickbacks during the construction of roads in Gujrat. This is the second time the PTI leader has been re-arrested by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) after a court granted him relief. This time, the PTI leader has been re-arrested in a case registered against him for alleged illegal recruitments he did in the Punjab Assembly when he was the speaker. A day earlier, the PTI leader was arrested in a similar fashion outside a Lahore court. The court had ordered release of the PTI leader in connection with a case involving Rs70 million in corruption in development funds allocated for the Gujrat district. But, minutes later he was re-arrested in a corruption case registered against him in Gujranwala by the Punjab ACE.

After the arrest, the PTI leader was brought to ACE’s regional office in Gujranwala and presented before Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Afzal. The investigation team, during the hearing, told the court that two cases have been registered against Pervaiz Elahi in Gujranwala’s anti-corruption police station.

“Pervaiz Elahi has been arrested in two cases,” said the investigation team.

The team had sought Elahi’s 14-day physical remand for the investigation of cases and recovery of bribed money. The court had then reserved its verdict on the plea.

While announcing the verdict, the court issued the release orders of the PTI leader over “lack of evidence” and rejected the plea for the physical remand.

Speaking to his lawyer, the former Punjab chief minister said that he was kept in a police station and was not given his medicines.

“I took my medicines in the morning with difficulty,” he said, adding that he was not even allowed to use the bathroom. Speaking to media persons after the hearing, Elahi said that whatever the court decides will happen. “It is a test for the judiciary,” he added. Elahi said he was innocent and a “supporter of Pakistan Army”.

In a message to the party workers, he asked them to stand firm and do not lose courage.

According to the details provided by an ACE spokesperson, Elahi made 12 illegal recruitments in the Punjab Assembly in Grade 17. The candidates were recruited in the provincial assembly by altering the records. “The recruitments were made by taking fake testing services for irregularities,” said the spokesperson.

He said the investigation by the ACE proved that fake recruitments were made in Punjab Assembly, adding that the anti-corruption has also arrested Secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain in connection with this case on the basis of evidence.

“Rai Mumtaz was involved in fake recruiting process with Pervaiz Elahi,” he said.

Security had been tightened around the court ahead of the appearance of Pervaiz Elahi.