LAHORE: A special court for anti-corruption on Monday denied post-arrest bail to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf President Parvez Elahi in a case of alleged illegal appointment of Muhammad Khan Bhatti as principal secretary to the chief minister.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment had registered that case against Elahi.

A counsel for Elahi argued that the case against the petitioner was nothing more than political victimisation. He said the appointment of the principal secretary to the chief minister was under the law.

The court asked the prosecution whether it had any evidence of corruption against Bhatti after becoming the principal secretary.

A prosecutor said Bhatti received millions of rupees as kickbacks against transfers and postings of the deputy commissioners and the district police officers in Punjab. He said Mr Elahi, the then chief minister, appointed Bhatti, former secretary of the Punjab Assembly, as his principal secretary in violation of the law and the service rules.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court dismissed the bail petition of Mr Elahi.

Bhatti, who is believed to be a confidant of Parvez Elahi, is also on judicial remand in various cases of alleged corruption.

Separately, an accountability court on Monday dismissed post-arrest bail of two government officials, the co-suspects of PTI President Parvez Elahi in a case of allegedly receiving kickbacks in development schemes launched in Gujrat division.

Malik Riaz, former chief engineer, and Muhamamd Asghar, former divisional accounts officer, filed the petitions through Advocate Amjad Pervez.

The NAB launched an investigation against the suspects including Parvez Elahi, his son Moonis Elahi, and the officials of various departments on the allegations of misuse of authority and receiving illegal gratification.

It alleged that the suspects approved development schemes under supplementary grants and awarded contracts to their favorite contractors against kickbacks in sheer violation of the rules.

The bureau alleged that Elahi being the chief minister influenced the co-suspects and got at least 116 schemes approved.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023

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