Court grants PTI president Parvez Elahi bail

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On Friday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted bail to Parvez Elahi, the President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in connection with a case involving an attack on the judicial complex in the federal capital.

ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain approved the bail request of the former Punjab chief minister, Parvez Elahi, against a surety bond of Rs20,000.

Parvez Elahi was taken into custody shortly after his release from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 1, despite a specific order from the Lahore High Court (LHC) earlier that day, which had prohibited his arrest.

This September 1 order reiterated previous orders issued by the high court on July 13, 2023. Parvez Elahi has faced multiple arrests and detentions since the May 9 riots.

The PTI president is accused of allegedly orchestrating a group of rioters to vandalize the judicial complex in Islamabad. The police claim he provided them with vehicles and batons. The physical remand was requested to interrogate him regarding unidentified individuals involved and to recover the vehicles.

In the previous hearing, Judge Zulqarnain had sent the PTI leader to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand after rejecting the prosecution’s request for a 10-day physical remand.

During the recent hearing, Elahi’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Razzaq, informed the court that his client’s name had been added to the first information report (FIR) six months after it was initially filed. The counsel argued that other individuals, including PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party leader Asad Umar, had been granted bail in the same case and requested bail for his client as well.

However, the prosecution opposed the bail plea. Lawyer Babar Awan argued that Parvez Elahi was not mentioned in the FIR and that nothing substantial had been recovered during the three-day physical remand.

Awan added that Parvez Elahi had been arrested on mere suspicion. In response, Prosecutor Raja Naveed pointed out that the provisions under which the FIR was registered did not allow for bail.

The judge noted that Parvez Elahi was not specifically named in the case related to the attack on the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) and that nothing significant had been recovered during his physical remand.

After considering the arguments, the ATC judge approved Parvez Elahi’s bail application.