Hassan Niazi, a nephew of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and a leader of the party’s lawyers’ wing, has been handed to the military for a trial over his alleged involvement in the May 9 riots, the Lahore High Court (LHC) was informed on Friday.
During proceedings, the Punjab government’s legal counsel told the court that Niazi’s custody had been given to the military, as he was a “prime accused” in the case related to the torching of the Lahore Corps Commander’s House during the May 9 riots. To a plea of Niazi’s father, Hafeezullah Niazi, the court granted the government lawyer time to inquire whether a meeting could be arranged between them, before reserving a verdict on the request.
Addressing the court, the petitioner’s legal counsel argued that the station house officer had not adhered to law following Niazi’s arrest. He maintained that the accused had been arrested on Aug. 13, with the police not acknowledging his custody until Aug. 17, and no court orders had been issued for transit remand. He, however, acknowledged that military custody could be authorized through proper legal channels.
Consequently, the petitioner’s counsel urged the court to summon the SHO responsible and seek an explanation for these actions. He argued that the police’s “unauthorized” transfer of Hassan Niazi to military custody was unlawful and called for its condemnation.
Prior to the hearing, the Punjab Police had sought the custody of Hassan Niazi from Quetta Police over his alleged role in the May 9 riots. The Quetta Police had taken custody of him from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police, who had arrested him from Abbottabad, where he was reportedly in hiding.