MPO detention order against Elahi withdrawn, DC tells court

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The detention order issued for PTI President Parvez Elahi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance has been withdrawn, the capital deputy commissioner (DC) told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

The development comes a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a bailable arrest warrant for Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nisar Khan over his failure to appear before the court in a contempt case related to Elahi’s arrest.

On September 1, hours after the LHC had ordered his release in a graft case, the PTI leader had been rearrested by the Islamabad police under the MPO.

Having approached the IHC, the court had suspended Elahi’s MPO detention and ordered his release but hours later, he was again re-arrested in a terror case.

The former Punjab chief minister is currently on a judicial remand in that case, which will be completed on September 22.

Today, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri presided over the hearing of Elahi’s petition against his MPO detention while Islamabad DC Irfan Nawaz Memon appeared before the court.

Both DC Memon and Elahi had been ordered at the previous hearing to appear before the court today. However, Elahi could not appear before the court as he is currently incarcerated at Adiala Jail in the terror case.

At the outset of the hearing, DC Memon informed the court that the detention order against Elahi had been withdrawn, at which the IHC disposed of the PTI leader’s petition.

The IHC then directed the DC to inform the court about the FIR on the basis of which Elahi was currently in custody.

During the previous hearing, Justice Jahangiri had noted that Elahi had been detained for more than three months.

In the order, the judge had 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 Elahi 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 had said.

Timeline of arrests and rearrests

Elahi was first taken into custody on June 1 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 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 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, 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 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 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.

On September 5, the PTI president was again re-arrested — this time in a terror case — hours after the IHC had suspended his detention orders. He was then sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

 

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