An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi in a case related to an attack on the Judicial Complex in Islamabad earlier this year.
Accepting the bail plea, Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain directed the former Punjab chief minister to submit surety bond of Rs. 20,000. During the hearing, Elahi’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq maintained his client’s name was only added to the first information report (FIR) in the case six months after it was filed. He noted that other accused, including PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party leader Asad Umar, had been granted bail in the same case and his client should be granted the same relief.
Another of Elahi’s lawyers, Babar Awan, reiterated that neither had Elahi been named in the FIR, nor were police able to recover anything from him during a three-day physical remand. “Parvez Elahi was arrested on the basis of suspicion,” he argued.
Prosecutor Raja Naveed, meanwhile, opposed the bail application, maintaining the provisions under which the FIR was registered were non-bailable.
However, the judge remarked that Elahi was not nominated in the case, adding nothing had been recovered from him during his physical remand. He then accepted the bail plea.
The PTI president has been repeatedly released and arrested in various cases since May. On Sept. 1, the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered his release from the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and explicitly restricted authorities from arresting him in any other case, but he was picked up by Islamabad Police.
The present case pertains to an attack on the Federal Judicial Complex on March 18, when PTI workers pelted authorities inside the building with stones ahead of, and during, Imran Khan’s appearance in connection with various cases against him. While Elahi was not initially added to the FIR, he has been accused of sending rioters to Islamabad to vandalize the complex, as well as providing vehicles and batons to them. Police has sought his physical remand to question him about unidentified criminals and to recover vehicles used in the attack.
In the previous hearing, Judge Zulqarnain had sent Elahi to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand after rejecting the prosecution’s request for a 10-day physical remand.