LAHORE: A sessions court on Monday set aside a decision of a judicial magistrate about denial of physical remand of former chief minister Parvez Elahi to the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) and acquittal in a case of alleged misappropriation in development projects.

Allowing an appeal of the ACE, Additional District & Sessions Judge Saima Riasat directed the establishment to produce Mr Elahi before the magistrate on June 13 (today) to seek physical remand for investigation.

“Copy of this order be sent to learned Area Magistrate and concerned authorities for intimation and compliance,” the judge said in her order.

The ACE had pleaded that the magistrate passed an unlawful order when the suspect (Elahi) was produced before his court for first physical remand.

The agency said the magistrate not only denied physical remand of the suspect but also discharged him in the case.

Interim bail for son, two daughters-in-law

The caretaker government had also criticized the magistrate for his decision and announced to file an appeal.

At present, the former chief minister is on judicial remand in another case of alleged illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly, wherein his bail petition is pending before a special court of anti-corruption.

The court is set to resume hearing of the bail petition on June 13 as the investigating officer failed to produce a record of the case at two previous hearings.

According to the ACE, the case of the illegal appointments alleged that Elahi recruited 12 Grade-17 officers in the Punjab Assembly against merit. It said all the appointed candidates were from Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin, the political constituencies of the Chaudhrys.

INTERIM BAIL: A special court for banking offences on Monday granted interim pre-arrest bail to a son and two daughters-in-law of former chief minister Parvez Elahi in a case of alleged money laundering by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Rasikh Elahi, his wife Zara Elahi and Tehreem Elahi, the wife of Moonis Elahi, appeared before the court along with their counsel.

The counsel argued that the FIA registered the case at the behest of the government only to politically victimize the family of the former chief minister. He said the entire case was bogus and had been recreated as a political revenge.

The counsel said a money laundering case with the same charges had already been quashed by the high court.

He said the petitioners wanted to join the investigation to prove their innocence but there were apprehensions of their arrest.

Judge Aslam Gondal granted the pre-arrest bail to the petitioners till June 16 and summoned record of the case from the FIA.

Last week, the FIA told the Lahore High Court that the son and the daughters-in-law of the former chief minister had committed money laundering through a low cadre employee of the Punjab Assembly.

A report submitted by the FIA alleged that Rasikh Elahi, his wife Zara Elahi and sister-in-law Tehreem Elahi used the bank accounts of Qaiser Iqbal Bhatti, a peon of the assembly, to launder money.

It said unexplained transactions of millions of rupees had been traced in the accounts of the peon and the children of Parvez Elahi. It alleged that the assets of the peon had been found beyond his known sources of income.

The report said the petitioners had been served with self-explanatory call-up notices to appear before the investigation team but they failed. It alleged that the peon of the assembly, Bhatti, had been involved in inexplicable transactions of Rs175m.

The FIA said the inquiry in question had no relation with any previous probe as it had been initiated against a government servant, the assembly`s peon.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2023

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