Elahi sent to jail in illegal appointment cases

A local court on Tuesday sent Parvez Elahi, the President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand in two cases related to illegal appointments.

Judicial magistrate Imran Abid announced the verdict, which had been reserved earlier in the day, following final arguments from all the parties.

According to the First Information Reports (FIRs), Elahi was accused of making 12 illegal appointments to grade 17 positions in the Punjab Assembly and appointing Muhammad Khan Bhatti as his principal secretary in violation of the law.

After a one-day transitory remand, Punjab's Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) officials presented the PTI president before the court. The ACE prosecutor requested a 14-day physical remand for Elahi, which the court rejected.

Elahi faced another case a day earlier, which led him to be transferred to Lahore with the Punjab ACE following their request for a transitory remand. This new case concerned allegations of misusing his power and position to manipulate the provincial bureaucracy.

In accordance with an FIR, Elahi was booked under section 5/2(d)47 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for illicitly abusing his position as the then-chief minister of Punjab and transferring Muhammad Khan Bhatti, an employee in a special department of the Punjab Assembly, to the role of principal secretary.

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) ordered Elahi's detention on judicial remand in a case related to an attack on the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC), after which the Punjab ACE sought his remand in the new case filed in Lahore.

Elahi was initially arrested on June 1 in a corruption case during a crackdown on PTI following the May 9 protests. He faced multiple re-arrests in various cases, including two money laundering cases.

Regarding the illegal appointment case, the ACE spokesperson disclosed that Elahi had made 12 illegal recruitments in the Punjab Assembly for grade 17 positions by tampering with records. These appointments were allegedly facilitated through fraudulent testing services.

The ACE investigation confirmed the existence of fake recruitments in the Punjab Assembly, leading to the arrest of Secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain, who was found to be involved in the fraudulent recruitment process with Parvez Elahi.

In another development, the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) appeal against the court's August 31 order, deeming it inadmissible.

The LHC had previously ordered NAB to release Elahi after the anti-graft watchdog requested more time to submit its response explaining his arrest. NAB subsequently filed an appeal in the LHC, but a two-member bench, led by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, declared the appeal inadmissible and closed the case.

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