Lahore ATC sends PTI’s Hassaan Niazi to jail on judicial remand

Published March 27, 2023
Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Khan Niazi arrives at a Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court on March 27 holding a copy of the Constitution. — DawnNewsTV
Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Khan Niazi arrives at a Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court on March 27 holding a copy of the Constitution. — DawnNewsTV

A Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday sent PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Niazi to jail on a 14-day judicial remand in the Zille Shah murder case and also approved his two-day transit remand to transfer him to Karachi in another case.

On March 26, the Punjab police had transferred Niazi from Quetta to Lahore in connection with a case registered against him at Lahore’s Racecourse police station.

He was brought to Quetta from Islamabad on Saturday morning and despite being granted interim bail in the Quetta case, Niazi remained imprisoned for the day.

The PTI leader was presented in ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan’s court today amid tight security.

During the hearing today, the investigation officer requested the judge to grant a physical remand, saying that a photogrammetric test had to be carried out apart from the recovery of Niazi’s laptop and mobile phone.

“The attack and commotion took place at the behest of Niazi,” the IO told the court. “Physical remand should be given because all the incidents need to be investigated”.

As the hearing continued, Niazi’s lawyer presented his arguments. “He is a well-known lawyer and PTI leader.”

His lawyer said Niazi was implicated in the case due to “mala fide intentions”, adding that “an arrest in a wrong case is illegal.”

After the arguments of both sides were completed, Judge Gul reserved the verdict and announced it once the hearing resumed.

The judge approved a two-week judicial remand but rejected the police’s request for a physical remand.

FIR in Karachi

On the other hand, Jamshed Quarters police in Karachi registered a fresh case against Niazi over charges of threatening heads of institutions in “code words”, it emerged on Monday.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the complainant, Mohammed Iqbal said that he was a businessman and a resident of Mohammed Colony in Lasbella Karachi.

The report added that Iqbal was using social media on March 26 when he saw that Niazi was giving interviews wherein “he warned that if Imran were to be arrested, no regard and respect would be shown to any ‘Haji or Hafiz’ and there would be ‘Dama Dam Mast Qalandar,’ leading to a ‘civil war’ in the country.”

The complainant said that Niazi, along with his accomplices, was instigating the people for a “rebellion” and threatening the former and present heads of the defense institutions of the country in “code words”.

“Through such actions, Niazi had insulted the country’s defense institutions, the people and instigated the masses. It has also triggered fear and panic among the people and the masses were saddened and angered over it,” the FIR added.

The FIR invokes Section 34 (Acts done by several persons In furtherance of common intention), Section 121 (Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), Section 124-A (Sedition), Section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups, etc), Section 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief).

Niazi’s detention

Niazi, who is the PTI’s focal person on legal affairs, was arrested on March 20 — in a case related to misbehaving with police officials — as he was leaving the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) after securing pre-arrest bail in three other cases related to violence that took place on Feb 28 and March 18 when PTI chief Imran appeared at the complex.

On March 21, an Islamabad district and sessions court granted police two-day physical remand of Niazi. Upon the expiry of the initial remand, Niazi was then sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand.

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