‘Still with Imran’: Parvez Elahi released after 11 months as LHC grants bail in illegal appointment case

Published May 21, 2024
PTI leader Parvez Elahi with his family at Zahoor Elahi Palace after being released from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Tuesday. — Ch Parvez Elahi X
PTI leader Parvez Elahi with his family at Zahoor Elahi Palace after being released from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Tuesday. — Ch Parvez Elahi X
PTI leader Parvez Elahi on his way to Zahoor Elahi palace after being release from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leader Parvez Elahi on his way to Zahoor Elahi palace after being release from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

PTI leader Parvez Elahi was released from Kot Lakhpat jail on Tuesday night after the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted him bail and ordered his release in a case pertaining to an alleged illegal appointment made in the Punjab Assembly during his stint as the chief minister.

LHC Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmed accepted Elahi’s bail petition earlier today and ordered his release. The court order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said the case against Elahi called for further investigation into his guilt and his bail petition was thus being allowed with bail set at Rs500,000 with two sureties each in the like amount.

Elahi’s lawyer Amir Saeed Rawn told Dawn.com that the PTI leader had reached the Zahoor Elahi Palace.

Elahi was moved to Kot Lakhpat jail earlier this month.

In a message on his official X account, Elahi said he was grateful to God for exonerating him and granting him the strength to remain steadfast.

“I am grateful to the judges who supported the truth and I was released. I am grateful to all those who prayed for me and supported me in this difficult time. The people of Gujarat suffered a lot of abuse and cruelty. Even our mandate was stolen in Gujarat.”

The PTI leader also ruled out any talks with his cousin, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat, and his children until “the return of our mandate”.

He alleged that Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi had “played the most important role” in getting him arrested.

“I was, am and will remain with Imran Khan,” he vowed.

PTI Senator Faisal Javed congratulated Elahi on his release and praised him for his loyalty to the party.

The party also lauded his steadfastness to the PTI.

Former federal minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry termed Elahi’s release a “breath of fresh air”.

Initially taken into custody on June 1 last year, the former Punjab CM faced a series of releases and re-arrests, and remained in detention ever since. The legal challenges coincided with the state’s crackdown on the PTI that followed the violent May 9 protests that saw important government and military installations vandalised.

The case at hand pertains to the alleged illegal appointment of Muhammad Khan Bhatti as the principal secretary to the chief minister during Elahi’s tenure as the Punjab CM.

The case

Elahi was initially arrested in the case of recruitments to the Punjab Assembly on June 3 last year. The case pertained to illegal recruitments of 12 Grade-17 officers in the provincial assembly, with Elahi being accused of getting the results of the testing service changed to select the candidates of his choice.

He was then arrested on September 18 in the case of allegedly illegally appointing Bhatti, following which a Lahore court sent him on judicial remand.

In October, a Lahore district and sessions court had granted police Elahi’s two-day physical remand in the case. Days later, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment had informed the court that it had allegedly recovered Rs4.1 million from the ex-CM’s house in the case.

The next month, a judicial magistrate had discharged Bhatti in the case but he remained in jail as he was on judicial remand in other corruption cases. Later the same month, Elahi was denied bail in the case.

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