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ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), on Friday, dismissed the prosecution’s request for an extension in physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Pervaiz Elahi and sent him to jail on 14-day judicial remand in a terrorism case registered for alleged attack on the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC).

The ATC judge, Abul Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain, while hearing the case, rejected the police request to extend Elahi’s remand for another 10 days and sent him to jail. Earlier, the police produced Elahi before the court after the expiry of his three-day physical remand.

Elahi’s lawyers, Sardar Abdur Razzaq, Babar Awan, and Ali Bukhari and prosecutor Tahir Kazim appeared before the court. At the start of the hearing, the prosecution requested the court to extend the physical remand of the accused for another 10 days. At this, the judge inquired about the duration of the previous remand.

The prosecutor informed the court that earlier court granted a two-day physical remand of the accused. Razzaq, PTI president’s lawyer, while arguing before the court, said that the first information report (FIR) that was registered on March 18 contained 250 unknown people but did not mention the name of his client. “Elahi’s name surfaced in this case two days ago”, he said, adding that the said case was registered against the PTI leadership and members.

He said that his client had not joined PTI when the FJC clashes took place and that he joined the PTI in April. His client was first arrested on June 1, he said, adding that the case had been registered against Elahi without evidence.

The lawyer recalled that a high court had said that a political case was made against Elahi and ordered his release but the Gujranwala police arrested him, following which, a judicial magistrate had ordered his release.

Razzaq said that the Lahore High Court’s order clearly stated that Elahi would not be arrested in any other case. The court also issued orders to drop Elahi at his home with securety, he said, adding that on the way, Islamabad police arrived and “abducted his client”.

Baber Awan, while arguing before the court, said that this case was registered in March. What evidence has the prosecution presented for Elahi being a terrorist? he asked. He said that the prosecution does not have any evidence against Elahi. He said that those who were nominated in the said case were not discharged but all unknown people were discharged from the case.

He requested the court to discharge Elahi from the case. The court, after hearing the arguments, rejected police’s plea for extension in physical remand and sent PTI chief to jail on judicial remand.

Elahi’s lawyers filed a post-arrest bail plea after the court’s verdict, on which, the court issued notices to the respondents and sought arguments on September 11.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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