LAHORE:The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted bail to former chief minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the principal secretary appointment case. The court directed Parvez Elahi for furnishing surety bonds of Rs 100,000 for availing the relief of bail. The single bench comprising Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry heard the bail petition filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi. The petitioner’s counsel argued before the court that the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab had registered a case against his client on charges of appointing Muhammad Khan Bhatti as principal secretary to chief minister in violation of the rules. He submitted that the notification of principal secretary appointment was issued before Parvez Elahi became the chief minister. He pleaded with the court to grant the benefit of bail to his client as co-accused Muhammad Khan Bhatti had already been discharged from the case by a judicial magistrate. Meanwhile, the jail officials produced Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Muhammad Khan Bhatti before Accountability Court Judge Zubair Shahzad Kiyani in connection with Gujrat development projects case. During the proceedings, the defence counsel submitted that clear copies of challan had not been provided and requested to adjourn the indictment proceedings till their provision. At this, the court adjourned further proceedings till February 22 and directed the National Accountability Bureau to provide clear copies of challan to the accused. The NAB had accused Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi of receiving over Rs 1 billion as kickbacks through intermediaries in more than 200 development projects of Gujrat district. It is pertinent to mention here that Moonis Elahi had already been declared proclaimed offender in the case due to continuous absence.Moreover, an anti-corruption court also delayed the indictment of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and other accused till February 22 in the Punjab Assembly illegal appointments case. The court delayed the indictment due to non-appearance of a co-accused, during the proceedings. The court directed to produce the medical certificate of the co-accused, Abdullah, on the next date of hearing. The ACE Punjab had registered the case accusing Parvez Elahi of unlawful appointments and kickbacks. Allegedly, qualified candidates were denied positions while those who had not taken exams were appointed. The ACE claimed that, as then chief minister, Parvez Elahi misused his authority, influencing appointments after receiving bribes.



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