IHC disposes of Elahi’s contempt plea against ICT authorities

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) disposed of on Thursday former Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi’s petition seeking contempt of court action against the federal capital’s IGP and DC.

Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri took up the plea.

During the hearing, the court observed that there was a difference between releasing Elahi and re-arresting him in some other case.

This court did not issue any orders that state that the former CM could not be arrested in any other case, remarked Justice Jahangiri, after Elahi’s counsel confirmed that he was released and then re-arrested from near Police Lines.

“If he was not released after this court’s directives to release him in the MPO [Maintanance of Public Order] then it would be contempt of court,” observed the judge.

When Elahi’s counsel Sardar Abdul Razzaq contended that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had issued orders restraining the authorities from arresting Elahi again, the judge remarked that the contempt plea should then be filed before the LHC.

Justice Jahangiri recalled that the IHC had issued orders to release Elahi if he was not involved in any other case. If he has been arrested in another case then this matter will proceed in the relevant trial court, he remarked.

The court reasoned that as Elahi was released in the case in which the IHC had earlier directed the authorities to do so, his re-arrest in a fresh case could not be considered contempt.

The petition was disposed of after the Islamabad authorities confirmed that the earlier IHC order was complied with and Elahi had been released in that particular case.

Elahi’s counsel Razzaq had listed Islamabad IGP, DC, SSP operations, Shalimar Police Station SHO and others as respondents in the plea, which moved the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the relevant officers besides issuing directives for departmental action against them.

Elahi’s counsel approached the IHC against his arrest despite the LHC’s orders for his release.

Elahi, who is also the president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was arrested hours after his release from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) custody on September 1, 2023, under a fresh MPO, after the LHC had explicitly restricted the authorities from arresting him earlier that same day.

The September 1 order was a reiteriation of similar orders issued by the high court on July 13, 2023.

The former CM was released after the IHC dismissed his arrest that 3MPO and then almost immediately re-arrested on September 5 in yet another case – pertaining to terrorism.

Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad granted the federal capital police two-day physical remand of the PTI leader on Wednesday (yesterday) with directives to produce him before the court on September 8 (Friday).

Elahi has been arrested and detained repeatedly since May 9 riots.

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