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Money laundering case: Court grants interim bail to Moonis Elahi till July 4

PML-Q leader says case is frivolous and baseless and is to victimize him and his family amid ongoing political situation

A banking court on Wednesday allowed interim bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader and former federal minister Moonis Elahi in a money laundering case.

Judge Aslam Gondal passed the orders after hearing arguments of the counsels of Moonis Elahi and granted him bail till July 4.

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FIA on June 14 registered an FIR against Elahi and seven others over charges of money laundering.

Advocate Amjad Pervez, who represents PM Shehbaz Sharif in the money laundering and other cases appeared as counsel of Elahi besides Advocate Amir Saeed Rawn.

Elahi, through his counsels, argued that he had nothing to do with the allegations of money laundering. He said the case was made to politically victimize him.

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He said the process of law was always used as a weapon to victimize the opponents and it had been continuing since colonial rule in the region.

“The various regimes made the petitioner and his elders as victims of misuse of law,” said the petitioner, adding that Moonis and his family members were dragged to face frivolous litigations in the past but every time no evidence of corruption or misuse of power or gains through illegal means was found.

The petitioner said the present case was the latest example of that victimization on the political grounds, pointing out that him and his family were facing the allegations of assets beyond means.

Elahi said him and his family were innocent and the case filed against them were baseless and fabricated one, and was registered on mala fide intentions.

“Me and my family are being harassed in this case to muffle our voice against the government,” said Moonis through his counsel in the court.

The petitioner said that viewing the case in the background of political crisis showed that it was registered against him to achieve certain motives.

He said those who were behind it wanted to tarnish his image, wanted political engineering and media trial of the petitioner and his family.

Moonis termed the FIR as illegal and unlawful as he had nothing to do with allegations levelled against him. Him and others nominees in the FIR had never been an employee of the federal government or a public servant in any body under control of the federal government.

“Therefore, FIA had no ground to file case against me and others,” said the petitioner.

Elahi also submitted that the FIA did not issue him any notice nor they summoned anyone, directly registering a case which was illegal.

He stated that the alleged occurrence was between 2007 and 2020 and the case was registered now in 2022.

The counsels pointed out the delay, questioning why the FIR was not registered earlier on time.  They also said that there was no evidence available on record under which the FIR could be registered under Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 and under the sections of Pakistan Penal Code.

The counsels said the case was baseless and a fabricated one, but the petitioner joined the investigation himself. They said his arrest in the case would not serve any purpose except punishment before trial.

They asked the court to grant him pre-arrest bail as well as interim bail.

After hearing initial arguments, Judge Gondal granted Elahi interim bail till July 4.

FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle on June 14, 2022 booked PML-Q leader Chaudhary Moonis Elahi, PA Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti, six others including Muhammad Nawaz Bhatti, Muhammad Ali, Mazhar Abbas, Makhdoom Omar Shehryar, Tarik Jawaid and Wajid Khan Bhatti under Section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 read with sections 34, 109, 420, 468, 471 of the PPC and 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 in connection with the affairs of the RYK/Alliance Sugar Mills Group.

Two accused, Muhammad Nawaz and Mazhar Abbas, have already been sent to jail on judicial remand.

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