Despite bail, Hassaan Niazi remains imprisoned in Balochistan

Published March 26, 2023
Hasaan Niazi (in handcuffs) in a photo posted by PTI leader Farrukh Habib on Saturday.— Farrukh Habib/Twitter
Hasaan Niazi (in handcuffs) in a photo posted by PTI leader Farrukh Habib on Saturday.— Farrukh Habib/Twitter

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: While a judicial magistrate in Quetta rejected the police request seeking five-day physical remand of Hassaan Niazi and granted interim bail to him in a case registered against him by the Balochistan police, the PTI leader and nephew of former prime minister Imran Khan was not released from jail till late Saturday evening.

The Balochistan police brought him to Quetta from Islamabad on Saturday morning and produced him before the judicial magistrate (Quetta-III) Jamil Ahmed Sheikh.

In his statement before the court, Hassaan Niazi said his only fault was that he was Mr Khan’s legal adviser.

The magistrate then rejected the police plea and granted interim bail to him against surety bonds of Rs100,000.

Islamabad magistrate observes prosecution yet to prove the case

However, he was not released and was still in district jail of Quetta in the evening.

“Despite issuing release orders of the judicial magistrate, the jail authorities have not released Hassaan Niazi,” Advocate Ali Hassan Bugti said, complaining that the police had not even shared a copy of the FIR registered against him in Quetta.

The PTI leader was earlier handed over to Balochistan police by a judicial magistrate (Islamabad-west) who accepted the police plea for his custody in a case registered in the provincial capital, with the directive to the police to produce him before the relevant court in Quetta on March 25.

Meanwhile, a civil judge in Islamabad granted post-arrest bail to Mr Niazi, in a case for allegedly threatening police officials.

Appearing before judicial magistrate Ihtasham Alam Khan, Mr Niazi’s lawyers argued that the PTI leader has been falsely implicated in this case.

Interestingly, no one appeared on behalf of the prosecution to oppose the bail.

The judge observed that the investigation officer had not yet brought anything to record to connect the accused with the crime. “There is no direct or indirect evidence available on record that could prima facie corroborate the version of the FIR,” he observed.

The judicial magistrate granted bail to Niazi against surety bonds of Rs30,000.

He was arrested for allegedly intimidating and obstructing a police officer from discharging their professional responsibilities. The Ramna Police registered an FIR on the complaint of ASI Khuban Shah against him under Sections 34 (common intention), 186 (obstructing a public servant in the discharge of public functions), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a 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 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.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023

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