- Rejects ACE's request for a physical remand
A Lahore district court on Sunday sent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi on 14-day judicial remand, rejecting the Anti-Corruption Establishment’s (ACE) request for his physical remand in a case about illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly, Aaj News reported.
The ACE brought Elahi to the court amid tight security after arresting him for the second time in two days in a case pertaining to illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly.
Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk heard ACE’s request for Elahi’s physical remand.
An ACE spokesperson told the media that Elahi allegedly recruited 12 Grade-17 officers in the Punjab Assembly against merit.
“He got changed the results of these candidates belonging to Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin. We have collected evidence and arrested Secretary Punjab Assembly Rai Mumtaz Hussain in this regard,” he told the media.
At the outset of today’s hearing, the ACE expressed a lack of confidence in judicial magistrate Virk, with the establishment’s director general (DG), Jam Salahuddin, saying they had received instructions that he should not hear the case.
For his part, the judge said, “A campaign is being run against me. I don’t have an account on Facebook. I don’t have any account on social media.”
Following this exchange, the ACE official told the magistrate they needed time to file their request with a session judge to change the judge in this case.
“I have received the instructions, and we will submit a request to a sessions judge, but we need some time for that,” he said.
At that, Elahi’s lawyer argued that the court timings were about to end and said they would get a case registered against the ACE DG if Elahi was “taken away again today.”
Then, on the ACE DG’s request, Judge Virk suspended the session for a while.
Elahi asserts support for PTI
Before the hearing, Elahi told media persons inside the court that he would not back down even if “they register 100 cases [against me]”.
He added that his message to PTI members and supporters was to “put up a fight against these tactics employed by them [authorities] with bravery and not to get worried.”
“Stand firm and continue to fight against them,” he added.
Asked whether he was still standing with the PTI, he replied, “For sure, for sure.”
Earlier, Elahi’s lawyer Rana Intizar told the media that he would continue to fight the PTI president’s case despite threats.
“This is my job and no one can stop me from doing it,” he said, condemning the interim government’s “interference” in the matters of the court.