ISLAMABAD - Hafeezullah Niazi on Monday approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the custody of his son Hassan Khan Niazi to the army authorities and trial by the military courts.
In this regard, journalist Hafeezullah Niazi filed a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution challenging the decision taken in Corps Commanders’ Meeting, which was affirmed by the federal government for the trial of persons, allegedly involved in May 9 incidents, by the military courts.
The petitioner’s son was arrested from Abbottabad on August 13, after that he was taken to an undisclosed location and his whereabouts were not disclosed. He had filed a writ of habeas corpus before the Lahore High Court for the production of son. The police officials instead of produced Hassan before the LHC handed over his custody to military authorities.
He asked the court to issue a writ in nature of habeas corpus for the release of all persons handed over to or picked up by military authorities for trial before the military court for the offences allegedly committed during May 9 incidents, and return the custody of all such persons to the civilian institutions.
He prayed the court to declare the trial of his son Barrister Hassan Khan Niazi and other civilians before military courts under the Army Act, 1952 violative of Articles 4, 9, 10A and 175 of the Constitution. He also asked the court to declare that the trials for the offences allegedly committed during the May 9 incidents and FIRs registered in lieu of them are ultra vires of the Constitution, void ab initio and of no legal effect.
He further prayed to declare Sections 2(1(d)ii) and 59(4) of the Army Act, 1952 are ultra vires the Constitution and void, or in the alternative cannot be invoked for the offences allegedly committed during May 9 incidents.
He requested the court to declare that Section 94 of the Army Act, and the 1970 Rules are inherently discriminatory, in direct violation of Articles 25 and 175 of the Constitution therefore ultra vires of the Constitution and to declare that the Commanding Officer’s Letter dated 17-08-2023 as unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful vis-à-vis the handing over of the custody of the Hassan Niazi in violation of his fundamental rights, and provisions of the constitution.
The petitioner further prayed the court to hold that Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2023 and the Official Secrets (Amendment) Act 2023 are ultra vires the Constitution, having been promulgated without fulfilling the formalities of Article 75 of the Constitution. He also asked the court to hold that the concept of ‘deemed’ assent as used in the promulgation of the Army Act 2023 and Official Secrets Act 2023 is alien to the constitution and contrary to the legislative and constitutional scheme set out therein.
The petition asserted that Article 10-A guarantees the right to fair trial and fulfils legal requirements, and hence should be upheld.