The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has taken a significant step in the case of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi. The court has suspended his detention under the 3-MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) and has instructed the Islamabad police to release him.
Parvez Elahi, who previously served as the Chief Minister of Punjab, was re-arrested by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police shortly after being released by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order on September 1.
Mr. Elahi filed a petition in the IHC challenging his arrest by the Islamabad police under the 3-MPO.
Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri of the IHC presided over the hearing of the petition, which sought to declare Mr. Elahi’s detention under the 3-MPO order as “null and void.”
During the proceedings, Mr. Elahi’s lawyer argued that his client had already spent three months in jail and questioned how he could possibly influence the law and order situation while in custody. He also pointed out that Mr. Elahi had not issued any statements in the past four months.
The counsel emphasized that there were no cases registered against Mr. Elahi in Islamabad, and he had been cleared of the anti-corruption charges. Additionally, he highlighted that the Lahore High Court had declared Mr. Elahi’s previous arrest in the corruption case by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as illegal.
When questioned about Mr. Elahi’s involvement in any riots or rallies in Islamabad, his lawyer responded in the negative. Furthermore, he informed the court about contempt of court proceedings against Islamabad District Commissioner for issuing a similar order against PTI leader and former minister Shehryar Afridi.
Justice Jahangiri observed that Mr. Elahi had been detained for more than three months and issued a notice to Islamabad DC, summoning him to the court for the next hearing. The court also directed Mr. Elahi to refrain from making any statements until the next hearing.
In another development, the Lahore High Court also took notice of Mr. Elahi’s arrest by the Islamabad police despite the court’s orders. Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf directed the federal capital commissioner to present Mr. Elahi before the court on the following day.
Mr. Elahi’s lawyer informed the court about the IHC’s verdict to suspend his client’s detention and order his release. The LHC expressed concerns that the state appeared reluctant to produce Mr. Elahi before the court and noted the ongoing contempt case against the Islamabad Inspector General.
The court directed the Islamabad chief commissioner and police to present Mr. Elahi in court on the scheduled day. Both officers were also instructed to appear before the court in a personal capacity.
The hearing on the case has been adjourned until the following day.
Parvez Elahi’s legal journey began with his initial arrest on June 1, related to a Rs70 million graft case involving the misappropriation of development funds allocated for Gujrat district. Since then, he has faced multiple charges and several arrests, with the courts ordering his release on numerous occasions, only for him to be rearrested shortly afterward, amid a crackdown on PTI’s leadership following the May 9 riots.