An Islamabad district and sessions court on Tuesday granted police two-day physical remand of former premier Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Niazi in a case related to misbehaving with officials.
Shortly after the verdict was announced by Judicial Magistrate Abbas Shah, Niazi approached another sessions court against the decision, which sought a reply from the police by tomorrow (Wednesday).
The court order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said that despite the allegations against him, the suspect needed to be investigated in a “thorough and proper manner”.
“In view of the facts and circumstances narrated, two days physical remand of accused is granted subject to pre- and post-medical examination of the accused. The accused be (sic) produced again before the court on March 23,” it added.
Niazi was re-arrested on Monday in a separate case as he was leaving the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) after securing pre-arrest bail in three cases.
He had obtained bail from the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in cases registered against him and other PTI supporters in connection with violence that took place on Feb 28 and March 18 when PTI chief Imran appeared in the FJC.
The FIR — which relates to the alleged misbehaviour with officials — against Niazi was submitted before IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by Advocate Faisal Hussain and Advocate Mohammad Ali Bukhari.
The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered at the Ramna Police Station earlier today on the complaint of Assistant Sub-Inspector Khuban Shah under Sections 34 (common intention), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief causing damage amounting to Rs50) and 506(2) (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The FIR alleged that the police had tried to stop Niazi’s vehicle but the driver tried to run them over. It said that upon being stopped, Niazi stepped out of the vehicle, verbally abused the police and threatened to shoot them.
A smiling Niazi was presented to the Islamabad court today. PTI lawyers Ali Bukhari, Qaiser Imam, Sheikh Afzal Marwat and Investigation Officer ASI Sajid were also present during the hearing.
As the proceedings commenced, Islamabad police sought 10-day physical remand of Niazi.
Advocate Bukhari told the court that Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Raja Jawad had already granted Niazi bail.
“You can get the CCTV footage [of the Judicial Complex] […] Niazi was standing with lawyers when he was picked up by the police,” he said, adding that his client was arrested before an FIR was registered.
“He was taken from one police station to the other,” Bukhari contended and requested the court to initiate an inquiry against the station house officer of the Ramna police station.
Advocate Marwat also argued that Niazi’s only crime was that “he is the nephew of Imran Khan”. “Islamabad has been turned into a police state,” he lamented.
“The court is the custodian of justice. Every other day someone is arrested and then sent on judicial remand. Ever since the Islamabad inspector general has assumed duty, the rights of common people are being violated,” he said.
On the other hand, Barrister Faisal Chaudhry stated that despite securing bail, PTI leaders had to leave the courts in secrecy.
Subsequently, the court reserved its verdict in the case before granting police 2-day remand of the PTI leader.
Court hears Niazi’s appeal against decision
Shortly after the verdict was announced, Additional Session Judge Sikandar Khan took up Niazi’s appeal against the decision.
At the outset of the hearing, the judge asked if the physical remand had been granted. He also asked if the plea was maintainable.
“Do you have the verdicts you are referring to?” the judge asked Niazi’s lawyer Marwat.
The lawyer replied that he would provide the court with the verdict. “Give me 15 minutes. I will bring all the verdicts,” Marwat said. “Niazi is a lawyer and he was in court yesterday to get his bail approved,” he said.
Marwat added that Niazi was PTI chief Imran’s nephew and had arrived at the FJC yesterday to obtain bail. “The IG wanted to show his performance and that’s why Niazi was arrested,” he contended.
As the hearing continued, the judge again asked for a copy of the verdict.
“I will ask someone to get it for you,” Marwat said. “I will get the judgments too along with the copy of the case,” he said, following which the hearing was adjourned for ten minutes.
When the hearing resumed, Marwat submitted the verdict which granted police two-day physical remand of his client. He also read the contents of the FIR out loud.
Marwat said the investigating officer had stated that the vehicle and the pistol still needed to be recovered. He added that as per police rules, remand could not be granted for the recovery of weapons.
Subsequently, the court issued a notice to the police and asked them to submit their reply by tomorrow (Wednesday).