ATC hands over Parvez Elahi to police on two-day physical remand

LHC issues contempt notice to Islamabad chief commissioner for defying court orders

Arfa Feroz Zake
Shahid Hussain

  • Police have nothing to investigate, implores Ehahi’s counsel.
  • Physical remand of PTI president necessary, prays prosecutor.
  • LHC issues contempt notice to Islamabad chief commissioner.

ISLAMABAD: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on Wednesday approved a two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in a case pertaining to an attack on Judicial Complex Islamabad.

He was taken into custody by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police after the ATC announced the reserved verdict.

During the proceedings in ATC today, Elahi’s Lawyer Ali Bukhari prayed to the court that there was no mention of interrogation in the police’s request for physical remand.

“What did the investigating officer do in 24 hours?” Elahi’s counsel implored. “The police have nothing to investigate. The court will have to see if there is really a need for a probe against Parvez Elahi.”

Bukhari further argued before the court that he was the counsel of former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the same case and his bail was confirmed. “There is no need for an identification parade as the whole country knows who Parvez Elahi is,” the counsel added.

Presenting his argument, the prosecutor said that Elahi was needed by Islamabad police in a case filed in March.

“Evidence needs to be collected. The informant told the plaintiff that Parvez Elahi was involved (in attack on the judicial complex),” the prosecutor said adding that physical remand of the PTI president was necessary.

Elahi’s counsel filed a contempt of court petition in the IHC against his client’s arrest.

A day earlier, the former Punjab chief minister was taken into custody by CTD shortly after being released by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police in compliance with the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) order.

The IHC had suspended the detention of Elahi under 3-MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) and ordered the Islamabad police to release him.

The seasoned politician was rearrested under 3-MPO by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police shortly after being released by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the LHC directives on September 1. The high court had declared Elahi’s detention at the hands of NAB “illegal” on August 1.

The PTI president was rearrested by the personnel of the anti-terrorism division of the Islamabad police in a case relating to an attack on the Judicial Complex in the federal capital on March 18.

Following the attack, an FIR was registered at the CTD police station on the behalf of station police officer (SHO) of Ramna police station in this regard. The case was filed under 11 charges, including terrorism, the sources added.

A spokesperson of the Islamabad police said that the former provincial chief executive was taken into custody in a CTD case number 3/23. “He [Elahi] has been arrested in the category of unknown people.”

The PTI leader was released in compliance with the orders of the IHC, the spokesperson added.

LHC issues contempt notice to Islamabad chief commissioner 

Earlier today, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a contempt of court notice to Islamabad's chief commissioner expressing its displeasure for not complying with the high court’s orders of presenting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi before the court.

During today’s hearing on the high court’s contempt, City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi Syed Khalid Hamdani, Superintendent District Jail Attock Arif Shahzad, District Police Officer (DPO) Attock Sardar Ghayas Gul Khan, and other officials including Punjab Government’s Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nihang were present in the court. Advocate General Islamabad was also present in the LHC.

Expressing his displeasure for not presenting former Punjab chief minister, LHC Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf questioned how the court’s order be ignored.

Elahi’s lawyer implored that the court’s orders were not implemented, to which the court said that ignoring the court’s orders was a separate issue.

The LHC remarked that despite the court order, Islamabad police arrested the former Punjab chief minister. The court asked Islamabad's advocate general what was his position on the court order as it was very clear but Elahi was arrested and transferred to Attock Jail.

“Parvez Elahi is being kept in Police Lines due to security reasons. It is difficult to bring him here,” the advocate general responded.

The LHC asked why there was no difficulty in taking him from the court. “Presenting Parvez Elahi [before court] should not be a matter of anyone’s ego,” the court added. 

The LHC remarked that the Islamabad chief commissioner violated this court’s order therefore a contempt of court notice was being issued.

“Response should be submitted within 7 days,” the high court directed.