LAHORE: An anti-corruption court in Lahore made a significant ruling on Tuesday, granting post-arrest bail to Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, the President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The decision came in relation to a case involving illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly, shedding light on a complex web of alleged corruption.
Verdict Announcement by Special Judge Ali Raza Awan
The announcement of the verdict was made by Special Judge Ali Raza Awan, who had reserved the decision after thoroughly examining the arguments presented by the former chief minister’s legal team. The court approved Elahi’s bail against surety bonds valued at Rs1 million.
Multiple Arrests and Re-arrests
This development follows Elahi’s initial arrest on June 1 from his residence in Gujranwala. The arrest was made in connection with a Rs70 million graft case, concerning the misappropriation of development funds allocated for the Gujrat district. Although he was released by a district court in Lahore, Elahi was rearrested shortly after in another corruption case registered against him in Gujranwala by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).
After being brought before a court in Gujranwala on Saturday, Elahi was eventually discharged in two corruption cases related to alleged kickbacks in the development funds designated for the construction of roads in Gujrat. However, he was once again apprehended by anti-corruption personnel moments later, this time in relation to the alleged illegal recruitment in the Punjab Assembly during his tenure as the speaker.
Previous Judicial Remand
It should be noted that Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk had previously remanded the former Punjab chief minister to jail for a 14-day period on June 4.
Illegal Recruitment Case Reveals Unlawful Appointments
The illegal recruitment case against Elahi reveals that he purportedly made 12 unlawful appointments in the Punjab Assembly, specifically on grade 17 positions. The spokesperson for the ACE shared that these appointments were executed through falsification of records and the utilization of fraudulent testing services. The investigation conducted by the ACE confirmed the presence of fake recruitments, leading to the arrest of Secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain, who was found to be involved in the illicit recruitment process alongside Parvez Elahi.
Additional Money Laundering Case and Red Warrants
Adding to the mounting legal challenges faced by the ex-Punjab chief minister, sources indicate the likelihood of another arrest following his bail in the illegal appointment case. A new money laundering case has been filed against Elahi and his son, Moonis Elahi, concerning their alleged investment of billions of rupees in five Panama-based companies. The sources further reveal that the acquisition of these companies was executed through illicit money laundering activities. In an effort to repatriate Moonis Elahi, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intends to pursue the issuance of red warrants against him.