LHC moved against late-night police raid on Parvez Elahi’s residence

Petition seeks action against those involved in "illegal raid, misuse of powers, and violation of fundamental rights"

By
Ahmed Faraz
|
Shahid Hussain
The picture shows police operation being carried out at former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahis residence in Lahore on April 28, 2023. — Twitter screengrab/@MoonisElahi
The picture shows police operation being carried out at former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi's residence in Lahore on April 28, 2023. — Twitter screengrab/@MoonisElahi 

  • Police fail to arrest Parvez Elahi in hours-long operation. 
  • Petition asks court to bar police action till expiration of bail. 
  • Police arrest 19 people on charges of terrorism during raid. 


LAHORE: Former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi's son Rasikh Elahi on Saturday moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the late-night police action at his father's property in Lahore and the arrest of scores of people. 

A heavy contingent of Punjab Police Friday night raided Parvez Elahi's residence to arrest him, drawing strong criticism from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inaf (PTI), which has been voicing concerns against the arrests of its workers and leaders.

The hours-long police action came to a halt after Sohail Zafar Chattha, the Director General of Punjab's Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), left the scene along with the police contingent. 

The police also arrested 19 people on the charges of terrorism and upon resistance during the raid, according to the first information report (FIR). "The ACE team carried out a raid at Parvez Elahi's house in a bid to arrest him," said the FIR.

It added that about 40-50 people present inside the residence pelted stones and resorted to violence. The FIR also said that the people also threw petrol bombs at the police during which Elahi escaped from his house. 

Meanwhile, Rasikh Elahi, in his petition made the Punjab government, ACE and inspector general (IG) of Punjab respondents, urging the court to intervene. 

The petition termed the late-night raid "illegal and a violation of fundamental rights". It added that the court had granted bail in the anti-corruption case till May 6. 

The petition also requested the court to pass an order "to clear the Zahoor Elahi Road from the illegal occupation of police and direction to be issued to respondents to vacate the house of petitioner and if there is any FIR against the petitioner that should be brought before this Honourable Court." 

It further requested the court to ensure the fundamental rights of the petitioner and direct be issued to stop the raid/operation and not arrest Elahi till the expiry of his bail. 

Rasikh also requested the court to take action against those involved in the "illegal raid and have misused their powers and violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner."

'Illegal raid'

PTI chief Imran Khan strongly condemned the police action against Elahi, saying that it was an illegal raid on his home, with no regard for the presence of women and family members.

Taking to Twitter, Khan expressed his concern regarding the dismantling of democracy in Pakistan, asserting that the Constitution, Supreme Court's verdicts, and fundamental rights of the people are being disrespected, and the law of the jungle is being imposed.

Khan alleged that the London Plan was being used to crush his party's morale. He said that his own residence was attacked and now the same is being done to Elahi by a group of corrupt individuals and their handlers.

He questioned whether the state would dare raid the homes of the looters and money launderers such as the Sharif and Zardari families in the same manner.

Declaring that enough is enough, Khan announced that he would present a roadmap to the nation on how to resist the destruction of Pakistan's constitution and democracy.

PTI calls on govt's negotiation team

Meanwhile, the PTI contacted the government's negotiation team and vehemently registered their protest against the late-night action and arrests, said the sources.

The sources said that PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry called on Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar in this regard.

Chaudhry, during the negotiation, expressed extreme displeasure over the raids and political victimisation of PTI leaders.

"Negotiations and political witch-hunt cannot go hand-in-hand. The dialogue was taking place in a pleasant environment, why was Parvez Elahi's house raided?" he questioned.

According to sources, Tarar and Rafique have assured Chaudhry of looking into the issue seriously.