Parvez Elahi gets bail in judicial complex vandalism case

Arfa Feroz Zake
PTI President Parvez Elahi. — Screengrab/File
PTI President Parvez Elahi. — Screengrab/File

  • Court grants bail against surety bond of Rs20,000.
  • Elahi accused of sending rioters to Islamabad to vandalise judicial complex on March 18. 
  • Judge observs Elahi was not nominated in judicial complex case. 

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi's petition seeking bail in a case relating to an attack on the judicial complex in the federal capital. 

ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain accepted the Punjab former chief minister's bail against the surety bond of Rs20,000. 

The PTI president was arrested hours after his release from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) custody on September 1, despite the fact that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had explicitly restricted the authorities from arresting him earlier that day.

The September 1 order was a reiteration of similar orders issued by the high court on July 13, 2023. Elahi has been arrested and detained repeatedly since the May 9 riots.

The PTI president is accused of sending rioters to Islamabad to vandalise the judicial complex along with providing vehicles and batons for the same, the police claimed, adding that the physical remand was being sought to question him about unidentified criminals and recover 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 seeking a 10-day physical remand.

During the hearing today, Elahi's lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq told the court that his client's name was added to the first information report (FIR) six months after it was filed. 

The Elahi counsel said that others including PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party leader Asad Umar were granted bail in the same case, pleading that his client should also be granted bail.

However, the prosecution opposed the bail plea.

Lawyer Babar Awan told the court that Elahi was not named in the FIR, adding that the police could not recover anything during the three-day physical remand.

"Parvez Elahi was arrested on the basis of suspicion," added Awan.

At this, Prosecutor Raja Naveed said that the provisions under which the FIR was registered are non-bailable. 

The judge observed that Elahi was not nominated in the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) attack case. He added that nothing was recovered during his physical remand.

After hearing the arguments, the ATC judge accepted Elahi’s bail application.

Judicial complex riots

On March 18, PTI workers suddenly began pelting stones at the authorities inside the premises of the Federal Judicial Complex during Khan’s appearance before different courts in connection with multiple cases filed against him.

The former prime minister came with hoards of people — who had wooden sticks and stones in their hands — from the opposite side of the road in violation of Section 144.

The situation resulted in injuring 52 police and personnel of other assisting forces, said the police, adding that the PTI workers also damaged 12 Islamabad police vehicles.

Three police vehicles of the Punjab police and Frontier Corps (FC) were also damaged by agitated workers. Moreover, the workers also set fire to four cars of the federal police which were completely burned, added the police.

Subsequently, a terrorism case was registered against the PTI workers at the counter-terrorism department (CTD) police station for vandalism.

Islamabad police had also registered an FIR against the PTI cheif and other party leaders for their alleged involvement in attacking cops, setting ablaze vehicles and destroying property.