LAHORE: At least 16 suspects, including a former lawmaker, have been handed over to the military for trial in cases relating to the attack on the Lahore corps commander’s residence on May 9.

Their custody was granted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday after the military filed an application with the administrative judge seeking the custody under section 549 of the CrPC.

The section stated that if a person arrested by the police was subject to the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 and the offence of which they were accused of was liable for a court-martial, the custody of such person may be taken over by the commanding officer of such person.

The application, filed by Commanding Officer Irfan Athar with the ATC, stated that the suspects were “found guilty of offences Under Sections 3, 7 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 read with Section 2(1)(d) and 59(4) of Pakistan Army Act, 1952.”

It added that by committing the offences, the suspects under the law became subject to the Army Act and were liable to be inquired, investigated and tried by military authorities.

The 16 suspects have been named in two FIRs registered with the Sarwar Road police station on May 10.

The prosecution did not object as ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan accepted the request and directed the Lahore Camp Jail superintendent to hand over the custody to the military for further proceedings.

The suspects included former Punjab MPA Mian Akram Usman, Hassan Shakir, Hashir Khan, Arzam Khan, Faheem Haider, Bilal Hussain, Faisal Irshad, Raees Ahmad, Waqas Ali, Ziaur Rehman, Muhammad Rahim, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Arsalan, Ali Raza, Ali Iftikhar and Ammar Zohaib.

The federal government has already approved the trials of those involved in attacks on army installations by military courts.

Separately, an ATC in Lahore allowed the police to shift former PTI MNA Alia Hamza to Camp Jail for identification parade in a case of ransacking public property during the May 9 protests.

The police had requested the court to grant judicial remand of the PTI leader for the identification parade.

Judge Khan allowed the request and granted a five-day judicial remand of the suspect to complete the process.

The police were ordered to produce the ex-PTI lawmaker again on May 29.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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