ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi underwent different tests at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) here on Monday after his health condition deteriorated in Attock Jail, where he has been detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order.

Separately, the Lahore High Court ordered the former chief minister’s production on Tuesday (today) and issued a contempt notice to the Islamabad police chief for arresting him despite an injunctive order.

Dr Mubashir Daha, a spokesperson for Pims, told Dawn that the former Punjab chief minister was examined by doctors of the hospital’s emergency ward and he was in good health.

“He was brought to the hospital for a routine check-up due to which blood pressure was checked and some lab tests were also conducted. He was in good health so no medical board was established,” he added.

LHC orders ex-CM to be produced today; puts Islamabad IGP on notice for arresting PTI leader despite court orders

After examination, the former chief minister was shifted back to the jail under strict security.

According to jail sources, Mr Elahi complained about his health condition to the jail authorities on Monday morning. Subsequently, a three-member medical team, headed by medical superintendent of Attock District Hospital Dr Jawad Ellahi, examined Mr Elahi and referred him to Pims for further examination and tests.

Production order

Justice Mohammad Amjad Rafiq of the LHC on Monday directed the district and sessions judge concerned to recover Parvez Elahi from Attock Jail for his production on Tuesday, besides issuing a contempt of court notice to the inspector general of Islamabad police for arresting the PTI leader despite an injunctive order.

The judge issued the directive on two separate petitions filed by Qaisera Elahi, the wife of the former chief minister, challenging the arrest of her husband and seeking contempt proceedings against the Islamabad police.

At the outset of the hearing, senior lawyers Sardar Latif Khosa and Tahir Nasarullah Warraich, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, argued that the arrest and detention of the petitioner’s husband were illegal in light of the restraining order passed by the court. They said the way the PTI leader was abducted, derogation was apparent as flashed in the media.

They said the court had provided the detainee police escort for a safe journey to his destination, but he was abducted the same day in the presence of police on a road near his house.

The judge heard the initial arguments of the petitioner’s counsel and summoned Lahore’s DIGs operations and investigation at 10am. However, the officers did not appear when the judge resumed hearing.

The judge was informed by the police that both the DIGs were out of the province for official work.

Later, DIG Security Kamran Adil appeared before the court, but the judge told the officer that he was not a party in the case.

On being summoned, Punjab IG Capt Usman Anwar, accompanied by Advocate General for Punjab (AGP) Khalid Ishaq, appeared before the court at 2pm.

To court’s queries, the IG said he was not responsible for the actions by the Islamabad police. “This job is not permanent. I will be responsible if any of my officers is found guilty of contempt of court. I will order a complete investigation into the matter of Parvez Elahi,” Mr Anwar stated before the court.

He sought time to submit a written reply and assured the court that both the DIGs would also appear on their return from the other province.

Asked about the whereabouts of Mr Elahi, both the AGP and the IG expressed their ignorance. They said the Islamabad police could answer the court’s queries about the arrest and detention of Mr Elahi.

The petitioner’s counsel informed the court that a magistrate of Islamabad had issued a detention order for the ex-Punjab CM and he was now in Attock Jail.

In his written order, Justice Rafiq observed that the Islamabad magistrate had no authority to issue any order for arrest or detention of the detainee who was residing and present in another province and that too in the custody of NAB or the court.

The judge said the vires of such order can be challenged at an appropriate forum, but by all means the Islamabad police had interfered into the jurisdiction of the LHC and also violated its order.

The judge observed that if the federal police were acting under the order of the magistrate, they could simply report back to the magistrate with a copy of the LHC stay order, but the arrest was illegal.

Commenting on the scenes of Mr Elahi’s arrest, Justice Rafiq observed: “What the people of Pakistan saw with pain on media forced me to say that if a man of such a political stature, that too in his 70s, is lifted up by his arms and legs by unknown persons (later told as Islamabad police), people must believe, the Constitution they give to this country is in danger.”

The judge appointed the district and sessions judge of Attock as bailiff of the LHC to recover Mr Elahi from the custody of the superintendent of Attock Jail. The judge ordered the Rawalpindi and Attock police to produce Mr Elahi before the court on Tuesday (today).

The judge also summoned the jail’s superintendent in person. He also initiated contempt proceedings against the Islamabad IG and issued a notice to him for Sept 8.

As per the roster of sitting judges issued by the LHC registrar for the first week after the end of summer vacations starting from Sept 4, Justice Rafiq was available at the principal seat for Sept 4 only. He would perform judicial work at the Multan seat from Sept 5.

The Islamabad police had on Sept 1 re-arrested the PTI leader near his residence soon after the LHC set him free with a restraining order against his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.

Amjad Iqbal in Taxila also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2023



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