Sunday, June 04, 2023
LAHORE: An anti-corruption court in Lahore on Sunday rejected the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment’s (ACE) plea seeking physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the Punjab Assembly illegal recruitments case.
Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk sent the former Punjab chief minister to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.
The former Punjab chief minister — who was taken into custody by ACE officials for allegedly making illegal appointments in Punjab Assembly — was presented in the Lahore court amid strict security earlier today.
The Punjab ACE arrested the former chief minister for a third time on Saturday, after a local court in Gujranwala granted him relief in two corruption cases.
Today, the ACE officials produced Elahi in a district kacheri court in the provincial capital, while Rana Intezar, who is the president of the Lahore Bar Association, represented him in the case.
Speaking to reporters in the district kacheri, Elahi said it doesn’t matter how many cases are booked against him. “Even if ten or hundred cases are booked, it doesn’t matter.”
Addressing PTI leaders, workers and supporters, the former Punjab chief minister urged fighting with “absolute courage” and told them not to worry at all.
"You are at the forefront of the war for rights, truth, religion, and Pakistan. Hang in there and fight on," Elahi said.
In his bid to refute the allegations against him in the cases, the PTI president said that the government will gain nothing out of their lies.
While Elahi was brought to the courtroom, he was not presented before duty magistrate Ghulam Murtaza.
According to the details provided by an ACE spokesperson, Elahi made 12 illegal recruitments in Punjab Assembly on grade 17 positions.
The candidates were recruited in the provincial assembly by altering the records. "The illegal recruitments were made through fake testing services," said the spokesperson.
He said that the investigation by the ACE proved that fake recruitments were made in Punjab Assembly, adding that the anti-corruption has also arrested Secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain in connection with this case on the basis of evidence.
"Rai Mumtaz was involved in fake recruiting process with Parvez Elahi," he said.
It may be noted that Elahi was initially arrested on Thursday (June 1) from outside his residence in a Rs70 million graft case related to the embezzlement of development funds allocated for the Gujrat district.
After a district court in Lahore ordered his release on Friday, the PTI president was arrested again in a corruption case registered against him in Gujranwala by Punjab ACE.
He was then presented before a court in Gujranwala on Saturday, which later discharged him in the two corruption cases registered in the district's anti-corruption police station for allegedly taking kickbacks in the development funds allocated for the construction of roads in Gujrat.
However, he was re-arrested by anti-corruption personnel minutes later, in a case registered against him for the alleged illegal recruitment in the Punjab Assembly when he was the speaker.