A special anti-corruption court in Lahore on Friday gave the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) the “last opportunity” to present the record of an illegal appointments case registered against PTI President Parvez Elahi.

The former Punjab chief minister was arrested in the case in Gujranwala last week on allegations of taking Rs15 million in bribes as the speaker of the provincial assembly for [making] out-of-merit appointments on grade-17 posts in the house.

The PTI leader was subsequently presented before a district court after which he was sent to jail on judicial remand for 14 days. Elahi had then approached the court for bail.

In its order issued today, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the anti-corruption court observed it was “unfortunate” that the case record was not being submitted despite the issuance of “clear instructions” multiple times.

The order said the court was left with no other option but to direct the deputy prosecutor general (DPG) for the state and Lahore Region-A ACE director to convey to relevant officials its instructions to ensure the production of the record tomorrow (Saturday), this being their “last opportunity”.

The DPG and the ACE official have been asked to convey the court’s directives personally, as well as through telephone, mobile phone, WhatsApp, email and fax etc, to the Lahore ACE director general and the additional director general and the investigating officer (IO).

The IO and Lahore ACE additional director general have been directed to appear before the court at 10am tomorrow and submit the case record.

Failure to comply with the directive would lead to the issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants for the Lahore ACE additional director general and the IO, the court warned.

Arrest and re-arrests

Elahi is among several PTI leaders and workers who have been arrested amid the state’s crackdown on the PTI leadership following the May 9 riots during protests over party chief Imran Khan being whisked away by the Rangers at the Islamabad High Court premises.

Currently, Ali Muhammad Khan, Yasmin Rashid, Mehmoodur Rasheed and others from the PTI are also under arrest.

Elahi was first arrested by ACE officials from outside his residence on June 1 in a corruption case. However, the court termed the 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.

Last week, 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.

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