Lahore court sends Parvez Elahi to jail in money laundering case

Published June 21, 2023
In this file photo, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi speaks to the media outside the Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi speaks to the media outside the Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV
PTI President Parvez Elahi is brought to a Lahore district and sessions court in a money laundering case on Wednesday. — Screengrab from video provided by author
PTI President Parvez Elahi is brought to a Lahore district and sessions court in a money laundering case on Wednesday. — Screengrab from video provided by author

A Lahore district court on Wednesday sent PTI President Parvez Elahi to jail on a 14-day judicial remand in a money laundering case after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) took him into custody from district jail earlier today.

Elahi had secured bail from an anti-corruption court in Lahore yesterday but could not be set free as his release orders were not delivered to the prison authorities.

The same day, the FIA booked him, his son Moonis Elahi and three others on charges of money laundering. Subsequently, the agency took the former Punjab chief minister into custody today from the premises of the jail and then presented him in the district court.

Judicial magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk presided over today’s hearing where the FIA sought Elahi’s 14-day physical remand.

However, the court rejected the FIA’s request and sent the PTI president to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing today, the FIA’s counsel argued that there was “solid evidence” against Elahi and that his physical remand was needed to complete the investigation in the case.

Upon the completion of the FIA’s legal team’s arguments, Elahi’s counsel, Advocate Rana Intizar, began presenting his arguments.

He said an inquiry had previously also been conducted in the same case. “Cases are filed to make Parvez Elahi a target of political vendetta, “ the lawyer contended and requested the court discharge his client from the case.

At one point during the hearing, Elahi came to the rostrum and decried the lack of facilities in jails.

“Insects crawl on the floor. No facility is being provided. I was wearing the same clothes at a previous hearing and am wearing the same suit today as well,” he lamented.

Elahi further said that the FIA was not adhering to the court’s order and asked for a contempt of court to be filed against it.

Subsequently, the judicial magistrate reserved the verdict on the FIA’s request seeking Elahi’s physical remand.

Son seeks Elahi’s protective bail

Meanwhile, Elahi’s son, Rasikh, has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking details of all cases against his father as well as a protective bail.

Rasikh has made Punjab’s caretaker government, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), the FIA, Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar, the capital city police officer and the deputy inspector general respondents in the petition.

The plea, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, asks the LHC to direct the respondents to “produce all the details of criminal cases/FIRs registered against the petitioner’s father which have not been disclosed by the respondents”.

It also seeks protective bail for Elahi in the money laundering case that the PTI president was booked in a day ago.

Rasikh has also requested the LHC to direct the respondents to not arrest Elahi “while being released from the Camp Jail Lahore till the petitioner has been provided with the copies of the FIRs lodged against” Elahi, as well as till Elahi has been provided with a “reasonable opportunity of at least three days to apply for anticipatory/protective bail”.

The petition alleges that Elahi is being “politically victimised by the law-enforcing agencies” of Punjab and that he has been falsely implicated in various cases by the ACE.

It further says that false cases have been registered against Elahi on the “instructions and connivance of sitting federal government”. The plea argues that the respondents — the police, FIA and the ACE — are not discharging their duties in accordance with the law.

It describes the manner of raids conducted at Elahi’s house on April 28 as being similar to “conducting an operation in the tribal (katcha) areas of district Rahim Yar Khan, without showing any regard to the dignity and privacy of the family of the petitioner”.

The plea recalls a May court order to not arrest Elahi in “any of the cases registered against him till today” and states that five cases have been filed against the PTI president by the ACE.

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