Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi has been granted interim bail till July 4 by a banking court in a Rs720 million money laundering case against him, which was filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The court has reportedly asked FIA to submit the record of the case and barred the agency from arresting Elahi till July 4. Moreover, it has directed Moonis to submit Rs500,000 as a surety against the bail.
In the bail petition, Elahi argued that the money laundering case against him is politically motivated, maintaining that he is innocent.
“The proceedings have been initiated to harass and blackmail the petitioner and his family so as to muffle their voice against the government of the day,” the petition stated.
Terming the First Information Report (FIR) against Elahi “illegal and without lawful authority”, the petition further stated the case has no connection with matters concerning the federal government. Similarly, it stated that the FIA “does not have the jurisdiction to proceed in such matters”.
In the petition, it is said that no evidence on record proved an offence that could be registered under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, and other sections. Furthermore, the petition underlined that the case against Elahi was registered without him “being summoned” or sent a notice after the completion of the inquiry.
Earlier, the FIA booked Moonis, Punjab Assembly (PA) Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti, and others on charges of money laundering.
What is the case?
According to the FIA’s FIR, the case against Elahi was registered in which the state has been named as the complainant. The agency said that it has “solid evidence” against the PML-Q leader.
According to the FIR, proceedings against Moonis under the Money Laundering Act started during former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s tenure. Last year, Khan had tasked the FIA to investigate the sugar crisis throughout the country and find out who benefitted from it.
Following this, the FIA released a report claiming that some of Khan’s own party members and Moonis were among those who had allegedly gained from the sugar crisis in Pakistan.