The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended the detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Parvez Elahi under the Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), ordering his release after directing him to appear before it in the next hearing and not make any public statements.
Last week, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered the former Punjab chief minister’s release from custody of the National Accountability Bureau and directed police not to re-arrest him in any other case. However, within hours of his release, Islamabad Police took him into custody while he was returning to his home in Lahore. Elahi was then shifted to Attock Jail, with police subsequently saying he had been detained on orders of a judicial magistrate under Section 3 of the MPO, which allows the government to detain any person deemed to be acting in a “any manner prejudicial to public safety.”
The PTI leader’s legal counsel had then approached the IHC to seek his release. On Tuesday, the matter was taken up by Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri. During proceedings, Justice Jahangiri suspended Elahi’s detention, ordering his release, and summoning him to the next hearing on Sept. 12 (Tuesday). It also barred Elahi from making any public statement until the next hearing and issued a notice to the duty magistrate who had ordered Elahi’s detention.
During proceedings, the former chief minister’s lawyer argued his client had been imprisoned for three months and had not been in any position to incite unrest. He also noted that Elahi did not have any case registered against him in Islamabad and emphasized that his client had not committed any violence or staged rallies in several months.
A day earlier, Elahi had been shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences after his health deteriorated at Attock Jail. However, following an examination and tests, doctors declared him to be in good health and subsequently returned him to jail.