SC directs LHC bench to decide Parvez Elahi bail by 21st

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed a division bench of the Lahore High Court to decide by August 21 the protective bail case of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi.

A three-member bench of the apex court, led by Justice Ijazul Ahsen and including Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Shahid Waheed, heard Pervaiz Elahi’s appeal against the suspension of his protective bail by a division bench of the Lahore High Court.

During the hearing, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, representing Elahi, said that protective bail is granted to enable the accused to seek pre-arrest bail in trial courts and that it prevents political victimization. He said the suspension order of single judge’s decision was passed without a hearing.

The court ruled that if the division bench of the Lahore High Court doesn’t decide the matter by August 21, the suspension order will automatically be lifted. The Punjab additional advocate-general informed the court that an intra-court appeal was being heard in the high court against the decision of the single-member bench. However, Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned the admissibility of the appeal.

Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel also expressed concern about repeated arrests and suggested resolving the matter through political dialogue. Barrister Ali Zafar agreed and stressed the need to stop the cycle of victimisation.

Justice Ahsan emphasised the importance of protecting individual freedom, saying that any infringement on freedom, even for a minute, is unconstitutional. The court adjourned the matter and directed the division bench of Lahore High Court to make a decision by August 21.

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