LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has booked former chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, his son Moonis Elahi and former principal secretary to the chief minister Muhammad Khan Bhatti on charges of taking bribes.

The ACE also arrested Mr Elahi’s alleged frontman, Zubair Khan.

In a statement, the ACE alleged the suspects received a sum of Rs120 million as bribe in payment of Rs2.9bn to a foreign company. It said Zubair Khan received Rs5m.

The anti-graft agency also accused the former chief minister of misusing his authority.

The ACE said Mr Elahi allegedly put pressure on the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ali Anan Qamar for releasing the amount to the foreign company. The ACE did not initiate action against the CEO or or any other LWMC official for releasing the amount.

PTI president gets pre-arrest bail

Meanwhile, Mr Elahi, who is also Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf president, said his residence, Kunjah House, was raided without any warrant just because he was supporting Imran Khan.

“Police once again surrounded my residence in Gujrat. More than 20 police vehicles blocked the main and rear gates of Kunjah House in the early hours of Friday. We are not afraid of these fascist tactics as these illegal tactics are being used only for supporting Imran Khan,” Elahi said.

A spokesman for Gujrat police denied any raid.

Earlier, police and other law enforcement agencies had raided the Kunjah House twice in February last.

Meanwhile, the ACE opened another probe against former chief minister Usman Buzdar for ‘illegal’ construction on the state land, summoning him for April 17.

PRE-ARREST BAIL: A special court on Friday granted interim pre-arrest bail to Parvez Elahi in a case registered by the ACE.

Mr Elahi appeared before the court along with his counsel Amjad Parvez.

The counsel argued before the court that the ACE lodged a false case against his client.

He said the petitioner was ready to join the investigation to prove his innocence, therefore, he should be granted pre-arrest bail.

Judge Ali Raza granted bail to Mr Elahi and restrained the ACE from arresting him till April 27.

NOMINATION PAPERS: An election tribunal comprising a judge of the Lahore High Court on Friday set aside a decision of a returning officer of PP-32, Gujrat, and accepted nomination papers of PTI Central President Parvez Elahi and his son, Moonis Elahi, for upcoming election in Punjab.

The returning officer had rejected the nomination papers of the father and son duo for concealing details of their assets.

They filed appeals against the decision of the returning officer.

The tribunal comprising Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry allowed the appeals and set aside the impugned decision of the returning officer.

DISCHARGED: A judicial magistrate on Friday discharged former principal secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti in a case of alleged corruption.

A team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) presented Bhatti before the magistrate to seek his physical remand.

The investigating officer told the court that the suspect received kickbacks in the payments made to a Turkish contractor of the Solid Waste Management Company.

Lahore Bar Association President Rana Intizar Hussain appeared on behalf of Bhatti and denied the charges of the prosecution.

He asked the court to discharge the suspect in the ‘fabricated’ case.

Magistrate Murtaza Virk admitted the arguments of the defence and discharged Bhatti from the case.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2023

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