LAHORE: A special court on Thursday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of former chief minister and PTI central president Parvez Elahi in a case of kickback registered by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

Elahi was present in the court when his counsel, Amjad Parvez, argued that prime suspect Muhammad Khan Bhatti had already been discharged in the case.

He said the ACE accused Elahi and his son, Moonis Elahi, of receiving kickbacks of Rs120 million in payments made to a foreign contractor of the Lahore Waste Management Company. He said all the payments had been made with the approval of the cabinet.

The counsel said the FIR itself did not allege the presence of Elahi at the place where payment was allegedly made to the contractor.

He said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also launched an inquiry on similar charges against his client and others.

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

He asked the court to confirm the pre-arrest bail of Elahi.

A prosecution lawyer said Elahi had not joined the investigation so far. He said tangible evidence was available to prove the offence against the former chief minister.

Judge Ali Raza extended the bail of Elahi till Friday (today) and directed the ACE lawyer to complete his arguments.

Talking to the media, Parvez Elahi said his decision to join the PTI was right. He accused the PML-N of doing politics of vendetta and victimisation. He said not a single case had been made against the then opposition leaders during his government.

He said the Punjab caretaker government lodged dozens of cases in two months only.

About the ongoing confrontation between the parliament and the Supreme Court, the PTI leader said the privileged committee of the National Assembly had no power to summon a judge or discuss his matters.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2023

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