Days after his arrest on charges of "misbehaving with the police," the police's request for an extension in the physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's focal person for legal affairs and nephew Hassaan Niazi was rejected by an Islamabad district and sessions court on Thursday.
The police, instead, were directed to take him to jail on judicial remand.
Niazi was produced before the court of Duty Magistrate Murid Abbas today on the completion of a two-day physical remand granted by a court on Tuesday, following Niazi’s arrest outside an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
Immediately, after the judicial magistrate approved the remand, PTI challenged the decision in a district and sessions court.
Niazi — accompanied by PTI’s legal team — was produced in the court of Duty Magistrate Abbas amidst sloganeering from lawyers.
During the hearing, the investigation officer (IO) requested a five-day physical remand of Niazi. He said that the co-accused had been identified; however, Niazi's weapons and vehicle are yet to be recovered.”
One of Niazi’s counsels Faisal Chaudhary countered: “If the weapons and vehicles are not in possession, why should Niazi be kept in custody?”
He said that the police failed to locate the vehicle and its owner in 72 hours.
“Niazi is a professional lawyer and took three bails on the day of arrest,” Chaudhary said, adding that cases were being built against PTI leaders only on “political grounds”.
“By detaining a lawyer for three days, a message is being given that people [PTI supporters] will be arrested and tortured,” Chaudhary said.
He also lamented that a professional lawyer was being humiliated by the Islamabad police.
Niazi’s other counsel, Ali Bukhari, pleaded for his discharge from the case. He maintained that Niazi's arrest was “illegal”.
After hearing the arguments of the parties, Magistrate Abbas reserved the decision and announced it after some time.
It was later pronounced that while the police would not be given any further physical remand of Niazi, he would be sent to jail on judicial remand.
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