The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday approved the bail of former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the judicial complex riot case. ATC Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain granted bail to the PTI president on a surety bond of Rs20,000 and ordered his release. Lawyers Babar Awan and Sardar Abdul Razzaq appeared as Elahi’s counsel while prosecutor Raja Naveed was also present. The PTI president was arrested hours after his release from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) custody on September 1, despite the fact that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had explicitly restricted the authorities from arresting him earlier that day. The September 1 order was a reiteration of similar orders issued by the high court on July 13, 2023. Elahi has been arrested and detained repeatedly since the May 9 riots. The PTI president is accused of sending rioters to Islamabad to vandalise the judicial complex along with providing vehicles and batons for the same, the police claimed, adding that the physical remand was being sought to question him aboutUnidentified criminals and recover vehicles. In the previous hearing, Judge Zulqarnain had sent the PTI leader to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand after rejecting the prosecution’s request seeking a 10-day physical remand. During the hearing, Elahi’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq told the court that his client’s name was added to the first information report (FIR) six months after it was filed. The Elahi counsel said that others including PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party leader Asad Umar were granted bail in the same case, pleading that his client should also be granted bail. However, the prosecution opposed the bail plea. Lawyer Babar Awan told the court that Elahi was not named in the FIR, adding that the police could not recover anything during the three-day physical remand. “Parvez Elahi was arrested on the basis of suspicion,” added Awan. At this, Prosecutor Raja Naveed said that the provisions under which the FIR was registered are non-bailable. The judge observed that Elahi was not nominated in the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) attack case. He added that nothing was recovered during his physical remand. After hearing the arguments, the ATC judge accepted Elahi’s bail application.