Pervaiz Elahi rearrested for 10th time soon after IHC orders release

  • Islamabad CTD Police nabs PTI president in case registered at Ramna police station on March 18
  • LHC orders production of Pervaiz Elahi in court, summons Islamabad CC, IG Police tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: For the 10th time during the past three months, PTI President Pervaiz Elahi was rearrested on Tuesday hours after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered his release after suspending the detention under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

The Islamabad police said that Pervaiz Elahi was arrested in a case registered at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station.

Reacting to the re-arrest during a media talk in Islamabad, Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan, the counsel for Ch Pervaiz Elahi, said: “I think all limits have been crossed. This is injustice with the country and its institutions and equivalent to making a mockery of the law and Constitution.”

The lawyer said as soon as he and Pervaiz Elahi sat inside their car outside the jail, “some people blocked our way, forcefully opened our car’s door and made me, my driver and associate step out”. Meanwhile, Pervaiz Elahi was “abducted” and taken away, he added.

The PTI shared footage of Pervaiz Elahi’s arrest and criticised his arrest.

“Absolutely shameful how courts orders keeps getting disrespected by the fascist regime. Pervaiz Elahi’s crime is standing for Pakistan, crime is not leaving PTI despite massive pressure,” the PTI posted on social media platform X in its condemnation of the arrest.

The Case

The first information report (FIR) against Pervaiz Elahi was registered at the CTD police station on March 18 on the complaint of Ramna police Station House Officer Malik Rasheed.

The case pertained to the clashes on that day between Islamabad Police and PTI workers outside the Judicial Complex.

The case was lodged under Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 380 (theft in dwelling house, etc), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 427 (mischief causing damage amounting to Rs50), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

March 18’s events were marred by clashes between the police and PTI workers amid party chairman Imran Khan’s appearance at the Judicial Complex in a hearing for the Toshakhana case.

The Islamabad police had alleged that party workers had shelled the Judicial Complex and set fire to a police post. In turn, the PTI had also accused the police of shelling Imran’s vehicle.

IHC orders Pervaiz Elahi’s release

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered his release of Ch Pervaiz Elahi and suspended his detention under Section 3 of MPO.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered that the former Punjab chief minister be released along with a restraining order against his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.

However, hours after he was released from Adiala Jail, an Islamabad police team, assisted by the Punjab police, had intercepted a white SUV near the FCC underpass in which Pervaiz Elahi was travelling to his house along with lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa.

The police personnel had shifted Pervaiz Elahi into a white car with no licence plate. The car drove him to Islamabad. Visuals of the arrest drama had gone viral on social media.

According to the capital police, Pervaiz was taken into custody on orders of the district magistrate under Section 3 of the MPO.

Section 3 of MPO empowers the government to arrest and detain suspected persons. It states: “The government, if satisfied that with a view to preventing any person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order, it is necessary to do, may, by an order in writing, direct the arrest and detention in such custody […] and [the] government, if satisfied that for the aforesaid reasons, it is necessary so to do, may extend from time to time the period of such detention, for a period not exceeding six months at a time.”

Subsequently, Pervaiz — who was moved to Attock jail — had approached the IHC against his detention, urging the court to declare it as “patently illegal, unlawful and without lawful authority”.

In the petition, Pervaiz Elahi had requested the IHC to set aside the detention order and issue directives for his release. He had cited the interior secretary, district magistrate, the Islamabad inspector general (IG) and the Adiala Jail’s superintendent as respondents in the case.

Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri took up Pervaiz Elahi’s plea today. In the written order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the judge said that it had been established that the detention order had been passed without any lawful authority and was prima facie in violation of the directives issued by the LHC.

It said that the order was suspended and Pervaiz was ordered to be released “forthwith” if he was not required in any other case.

“The petitioner is directed to ensure that after being released from jail, he will not participate in any unlawful activity nor contribute to any activity harmful for public safety and tranquillity in society,” the order said.

The order said that the Islamabad deputy commissioner and Pervaiz should appear in person at the next hearing. The hearing was subsequently adjourned till Tuesday (September 12).

During the hearing, Elahi’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan, contended that his client had been in jail for the past three months and questioned how he could have caused harm to public order. He also read out the PTI leader’s detention order out loud in court.

“Pervaiz Elahi has not even issued any statement in four months,” the lawyer said. Khan pointed out that there was no case registered against Pervaiz Elahi in Islamabad and he had been discharged from a corruption case.

He said that Pervaiz Elahi was detained by Islamabad police hours after he was released by the LHC. At this point, Justice Jahangiri asked if Pervaiz Elahi had taken out any rallies or committed any violence, to which the lawyer responded in the negative.

The lawyer then pointed out that contempt of court proceedings were under way against the Islamabad deputy commissioner for issuing such an order against PTI’s Shehryar Afridi.

Justice Jahangiri then asked the lawyer when Pervaiz Elahi was first arrested, to which Khan said the PTI leader was first arrested on June 1. The judge observed that Pervaiz Elahi had been detained for more than three months.

LHC hearing on contempt proceedings

Meanwhile, the LHC ordered for Pervaiz Elahi to be produced in the court tomorrow (Wednesday) and has summoned the Islamabad Chief Commissioner (CC) Mohammad Anwarul Haq and IG Dr Akbar Nasir Khan.

Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf issued the directives while hearing a petition filed by Pervaiz Elahi’s wife, Qaisara Elahi, seeking contempt of court proceedings against Punjab police officials on grounds of “wilful disobedience”.

At the outset of the hearing today, the LHC issued show-cause notices to Punjab IG Dr Usman Anwar and Lahore Capital City Police Office (CCPO) Bilal Siddique Kamyana for not appearing in court as they were summoned yesterday.

It also issued show-cause notices to the Rawalpindi chief police officer, the Attock district police officer (DPO), and the Attock District Jail superintendent for contempt of court proceedings against them.

During the hearing, Punjab Additional Attorney General (AAG) Ghulam Sarwar Nihang recalled that the LHC single-bench had barred authorities from arresting Elahi in any case, and stated that it was not the Punjab police but the Islamabad police who took him into custody.

At this, Justice Rauf asked about the PTI leader’s whereabouts, to which the Nihang replied, “Pervaiz Elahi was moved to Pims due to ill health. From there, he has been shifted to the Islamabad Police Lines.”

Summoning the federal government’s representative from the attorney general’s office, the LHC adjourned the hearing till 11am.

When the hearing resumed, the federal government’s lawyer appeared before the court and was asked on what basis Pervaiz Elahi had been moved to the Islamabad Police Lines.

He then informed the court that the IHC has suspended the former Punjab chief minister’s detention order under the MPO ordinance.

“Do you not understand that this matter is now in the IHC?” the court asked the lawyer, once again directing that the capital’s CC present Pervaiz Elahi before the court.

The LHC noted that the order to produce Pervaiz Elahi before the court had already been issued and it was giving any new directives, adding that implementation of the court orders was necessary.

Here, AAG Nihang opposed producing Pervaiz Elahi before the court, stating that the single-bench order has been challenged.

Subsequently, the LHC sought CC Haq and IG Khan to appear before the court in a personal capacity tomorrow along with Pervaiz Elahi.

Ch Pervaiz Elahi rushed to PIMS

Pervaiz Elahi also underwent different tests at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Monday after his “health deteriorated” in Attock Jail.

Dr Mubashir Daha, the spokesperson for Pims, informed that the former Punjab chief minister was examined by doctors of the hospital’s emergency ward and he was in good health.

“He was brought to the hospital for a routine check-up due to which blood pressure was checked and some lab tests were also conducted. He was in good health so no medical board was established,” he added.

After examination, the former chief minister was shifted back to the jail under strict security.

According to jail sources, Pervaiz Elahi had complained about his health condition to the jail authorities on Monday morning.

Subsequently, a three-member medical team, headed by medical superintendent of Attock District Hospital Dr Jawad Elahi, examined the PTI leader and referred him to Pims for further examination and tests.

Timeline of arrests and rearrests

Ch Pervaiz Elahi was first taken into custody on June 1, 2023, from outside his Lahore residence by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) for allegedly taking kickbacks in development projects.

The next day, he was discharged by a Lahore court but was rearrested by the ACE in a similar case registered in its Gujran­wala region. However, a Gujranwala court had then discharged him on June 3 in two corruption cases pertaining to the embezzlement of funds.

Nevertheless, even after being discharged, the ACE then rearrested Pervaiz Elahi for “illegal recruitments” in the Punjab Assembly.

On June 9, a special anti-corruption court had given the ACE a “last opportunity” to present the record of the illegal appointments case.

The same day, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) came into action and initiated another inquiry against Pervaiz Elahi for his alleged involvement in embezzlement in development projects in Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin.

After a sessions court on June 12 had set aside a judicial magistrate’s decision of Elahi’s acquittal in the embezzlement case, the next day, a judicial magistrate again sent him to judicial lockup after the LHC suspended the said order of the sessions court.

On June 20, Pervaiz Elahi finally secured relief from an anti-corruption court in Lahore but could not be released from jail as orders for his release were not delivered to the prison administration.

The same day, the FIA booked him, his son Moonis Elahi and three others on charges of money laundering.

Subsequently, the next day, the FIA took him into custody from jail and he was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand in the money laundering case.

On June 26, a Lahore district court again sent Elahi to jail on a 14-day judicial remand in connection with a money laundering case, shortly after the FIA arrested him from outside the Camp Jail.

Then on July 4, a Lahore anti-terrorism court had dismissed Elahi’s post-arrest bail plea as not maintainable in a case of attacking a police team that raided his house to arrest him in an inquiry by the ACE.

About a week later, the LHC instructed Inspector General of Prisons Mian Farooq to address the PTI president’s complaints regarding the lack of basic facilities provided to him in jail.

On July 12, an FIA plea against the denial of Pervaiz Elahi’s physical remand in a case of unexplained banking transactions was dismissed by a Lahore sessions court.

Two days later, the LHC had restrained the police and the ACE from arresting the former Punjab chief minister in any undisclosed case. However, he was then detained at Lahore’s Camp Jail under Section 3 of the MPO.

Upon the completion of the MPO detention, the Lahore NAB team took Pervaiz Elahi into custody from the Adiala Jail in a graft case on August 14.

On September 1, he was rearrested by the Islamabad police hours after the LHC had ordered his release in the graft case.

 

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