Monday June 24, 2024

Hassan Niazi granted transit bail, told to surrender before Nowshera court

By Yousuf Katpar & Jamal Khurshid
March 31, 2023

A sessions court granted on Thursday transit bail to advocate Hassan Niazi, nephew of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, in a case lodged against him in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Nowshera district.

Additional Sessions Judge Ghulam Farooq approved the lawyer's bail subject to the submission of a Rs100,000 surety. Niazi was told to surrender himself before the relevant court in Nowshera within 48 hours.

The applicant's lawyers, including Nasrullah Jalbani and Zahoor Mahsud, stated that the Karachi police had shifted their client to the metropolis after obtaining his two-day transit remand from an anti-terrorism court in Lahore. They added that he was produced before a judicial magistrate who discharged him from a case lodged at the city's Jamshed Quarter police station.

They contended that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police then arrested Niazi in a case lodged in Nowshera without obtaining a no-objection certificate from the ATC that had initially given an NOC for his transportation to Karachi. They said the applicant had also been granted post-arrest bail by the ATC where he was required to be produced. Therefore, the lawyers pleaded with the court to grant Niazi transit bail so he may surrender himself before the relevant court in Nowshera.

On the other hand, the state prosecutor opposed the bail plea, stating that the investigating officer had approached a judicial magistrate to seek the PTI leader's transit remand for shifting him to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The judge noted that the sessions court was empowered to release an accused by taking a surety so that he may surrender himself before the competent court. "Admittedly P.S Cantt, District Nowshera, is not situated in territorial limits of even the entire province of Sindh, and the learned trial court is also situated in territorial limits of District Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as such there is no reason to decline the transit bail to the applicant/accused," he remarked.

Earlier, the police had brought the detained PTI leader to the City Courts to seek his transit remand from the relevant magistrate so he could be shifted to KP. However, he was set free after the court approved his bail.

On Wednesday, the judicial magistrate (East) had discharged Hassan Niazi from a case lodged against him by the Jamshed Quarter police for allegedly inciting mutiny and sedition. A similar case has been registered against him at Nowshera's Cantt police station.

Plea dismissed

The Sindh High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking quashment of an FIR against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Hassan Niazi in a sedition case.

Petitioner Hafeezullah Niazi said his son Hassan Niazi is a barrister and also focal person of the PTI and he was arrested by personnel of law enforcement agencies due to political rivalry.

He said the police had implicated him in numerous identical cases in indifferent cities of the country, including Karachi. He said the Jamshed Quarters police had registered a sedition case on a private complaint of a person, which was general in nature. He said no person can lodge a complaint on behalf of state or any department of state.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that bare reading of the FIR makes it extremely clear that no occurrence was committed and no speech was delivered by the petitioner’s son for inciting people within the territorial jurisdiction of Sindh. He submitted that action of the respondents for the registration of an FIR was illegal and the same was liable to be quashed.

A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, inquired the counsel about the status of the case. The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner’s son was discharged by the trial court in respect of the case but he was not being released yet.

The court observed that the petitioner has no locus standi to file a petition in respect of quashment of the FIR and as such the petition is dismissed as not maintainable. It observed that the petitioner is however at liberty to approach the appropriate forum to initiate legal proceedings in accordance with the law.