ISLAMABAD: An Islam­abad court on Satur­day granted the Punjab Anti-Corruption Estab­lish­ment (ACE) a one-day tra­nsit remand of PTI Pre­sident Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in a graft case.

Mr Elahi was detained by the ACE on Saturday, a day after an Islamabad anti-terrorism court granted him bail in a case pertaining to riots outside the Federal Judicial Complex in March. This was the 12th time the ex-Punjab chief minister was arrested since June 1, according to his lawyer.

The surety bonds for the bail were not submitted yet; hence, his client had not been released from the Adiala jail and subsequently taken into custody by the ACE, said the lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq. He would now be taken to Lahore and presented before the relevant anti-corruption court.

The ACE, which has arrested Mr Elahi in conn­ection with a LDA land scam case, appro­a­ched the judge for a five-day remand. The court, however, gra­n­ted a one-day remand with directions to produce Mr Elahi before a competent court.

The FIR, registered on July 19, accused Mr Elahi of misusing his authority for personal gain. It stated that in his capacity as the Punjab CM, Mr Elahi, in March 2021, colluded with LDA Director Amir Ahmed Khan to illegally alter the draft of the Lahore Master Plan 2050 and include Kotli Rai Abu Bakar — an area in Kasur district — in it.

As a result, the value of the land owned by Mr Elahi’s sons — Moonis Elahi and Rasikh Elahi — in the area increased manifold.

The FIR was registered under sections 109 (abetment), 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code as well as Section 5 (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

Seeks better facilities

Separately, Mr Elahi also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench for better facilities in the prison.

The application was filed on Saturday by Advocate Sardar Abdul Raziq on behalf of the PTI president.

It stated that Mr Elahi was the former chief minister, assembly speaker and a renowned politician and thus entitled to better facilities in the prison.

Mr Elahi was 77 years old and was being kept in an unhealthy environment, the petition claimed, adding that jail authorities constructed a wall opposite to Mr Elahi’s barrack in order to deprive him of fresh air.

The PTI leader was being victimised for political reasons and the court should direct the jail superintendent to take care of the ailing politician, said the petition.

Since June 1, Mr Elahi has been arrested in multiple cases by the ACE, Punjab police and the National Accountability Bureau. After the LHC direction that barred the Punjab police from arresting Mr Elahi, Islamabad Police detained him under the Maintenance of Public Order.

He was released on the order of the Islamabad High Court but was re-arrested in a case related to the violence outside the Federal Judicial Complex.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023

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