ACE recovers Rs 4.1 million from Parvez Elahi’s residence

Pervez Elahi

LAHORE: The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has reported an alleged recovery of Rs 4.1 million from the residence of PTI President Parvez Elahi in a case related to illegal appointments within the Punjab Assembly. The revelation was made during proceedings at a Lahore district and sessions court.

Elahi’s legal counsel, Advocate Amir Saeed Rawn, immediately contested the claim, categorising it as a “bogus recovery.” Last month, Elahi was arrested by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on charges of appointing Muhammad Khan Bhatti as his principal secretary during his tenure as the chief minister, with allegations that Bhatti’s appointment did not conform to the law.

This arrest marked one of over a dozen instances in which the PTI president has been detained in various cases since June, following a widespread crackdown on the party in the aftermath of May 9 violence.

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On September 1, following his release by the Lahore High Court and the issuance of a restraining order against his potential arrest by any agency or preventive detention, Islamabad police re-arrested Elahi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance near his residence.

Elahi was presented before Judicial Magistrate Imran Abid’s court on Saturday, where ACE’s investigating officer, Muhammad Sibtain, stated that Elahi had been taken to his residence on Zahoor Elahi Road. It was there, according to Sibtain, that an amount of Rs 4.1 million was allegedly discovered in Elahi’s bedroom, located adjacent to a garage on the left side. The officer stressed that the recovery was made in Elahi’s presence and with his confirmation during the search at his house.

In response, Parvez Elahi denied the allegations, claiming that he had been in jail throughout the night and had not been transported anywhere. He stated, “I was asleep, and I have no knowledge of where they supposedly found the money.” Elahi contended that the raiding officers had ulterior motives and were attempting to secure their own positions.

The magistrate then questioned the investigating officer regarding Elahi’s denial of being taken anywhere, to which the officer responded that such claims were typical from suspects. He emphasized that Elahi had, indeed, been taken to his residence, as evidenced by the alleged money recovery.

Following the arguments, the court granted a two-day extension to Elahi’s physical remand and directed the authorities to ensure the PTI leader’s appearance before the court on Monday. The case continues to unfold, with disputed claims of a substantial monetary discovery at the heart of the controversy.

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