IHC issues notices on Azam Swati’s bail application – Pakistan

Islamabad’s Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the state and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) while hearing a bail request from PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati, who is demanding his release in a case related to controversial tweets.

Swati was arrested on November 27 after the FIA ​​booked him in Islamabad for a “highly offensive campaign of intimidating tweets”. […] against state institutions”. It was the second time in less than two months that Swati had been booked and arrested by the FIA ​​for his tweets about army officials.

Last week, the senator applied for bail from a special court in Islamabad. However, Special Judge Central Azam Khan dismissed the claim that he had “twice committed the same offence”.

Subsequently, Swati, through his attorney Babar Awan, filed a request for post-arrest bail with the IHC, challenging the orders of the Special Court.

The cause of action, a copy of which is attached Dawn.com, named the state and Aneesur Rehman, the technical assistant at the FIA’s Cybercrime Reporting Center in Islamabad, as respondents. The FIA’s criminal complaint was filed through Rehman.

Awan appeared before the IHC on Monday when it took up Swati’s petition. During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to the defendants and adjourned the hearing until January 2 (Monday).

Speaking to media outside the IHC, Awan cited a ruling by IHC Judge Babar Sattar, in which he said mere tweets could not spark mutiny in the army.

He also lashed out at the authorities for their inability to prepare a challan against Swati after registering an initial intelligence report. Swati said the law requires authorities to prepare a challan within 17 days of registering a case.

“These leak experts sit in the Prime Minister’s House and indulge in propaganda,” Awan claimed.

He said the country is heading for a default as foreign exchange reserves have fallen to alarming levels, adding that citizens are withdrawing dollar holdings from commercial banks.


The petition states that Swati was “wrongly implicated due to political influences of a hostile regime” and the cases against him were registered with “malicious intent”.

It was a reminder that Swati had previously been taken into custody by the FIA, but nothing “incriminating” was found on him and he was therefore taken into custody.

The petition noted that the senator was later abducted from Pims Hospital – where he was taken for medical treatment – in “the IG Balochistan police plane”. “However, during the pre-trial detention, the Honorable Balochistan Supreme Court was pleased to quash all FIRs [registered against him] in two petitions.”

The BHC had also prevented police from filing further charges against him.

“But he [Swati] was abducted again in other FIRs filed against him in Sindh,” the petition said, later adding that the Singh High Court (SHC) had placed all FIRs against him in the C class.

It claimed that the entire case against Swati consisted of a “documented allegation” and that there was no “useful purpose” in keeping him in custody.

“The investigation into the case has already been completed and the petitioner is no longer needed for investigative purposes.”

The plea also noted that the “alleged tweets were not posted by the petitioner nor did he intend to defame any respectable institution” and that prosecutors had no evidence against him.

It then requested that Swati be granted post-arrest bail pending the conclusion of the trial “in the best interests of the judiciary”.

Arrests for tweets

Swati was first arrested by the FIA ​​in October on charges of publishing controversial tweets about the armed forces and was later released on bail.

The senator has since claimed he was tortured in custody and called for the removal of two military officials, whom he attacked in his March 26 tweet.

On November 27, the FIA ​​arrested Swati for a second time over a “highly offensive campaign of intimidating tweets […] against state institutions”.

The arrest came after an FIR was registered by the FIA ​​following a state complaint by Islamabad Cyber ​​Crime Reporting Center technical assistant Aneesur Rehman.

The complaint was filed under Section 20 of Peca, as well as Sections 131 (Inciting Mutiny or Attempting to Dissuade a Soldier from Duty), 500 (Punishment for Defamation), 501 (Defamation and Posting Content Regarded as Defamatory), Section 505 (Declaration Contributing to Public Mischief) and 109 (Incitement) of the PPC.

After his arrest in November, Pakistan’s Electronic Media Authority and Regulatory Agency banned Swati’s media coverage on all satellite television channels.

Separate FIRs were also registered against the PTI leader in Balochistan and Sindh.

On December 2, in one such case, Swati was taken from Islamabad to Quetta and registered at Kuchlak Police Station, a day after a court in the capital approved his 14-day pre-trial detention.

But on December 9, the Balochistan Supreme Court ordered the dismissal of all five cases originally registered against him in the province.

Hours after the order was issued, the PTI senator was handed over to the Sindh police while his lawyer said two new cases against Swati were registered in Balochistan. Another case was later registered against Swati in Balochistan.

The cases were classified under Sections 504 (deliberate insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace), 505 (statements leading to public mischief), 153A (promoting hostility between different groups, etc.), 124A (incitement) and 123A ( condemnation of state creation and advocate abolition of its sovereignty) of the PPC.

On December 13, the SHC prevented police from arresting Swati in cases registered against him within the boundaries of the Hyderabad and Karachi SHC registry, and on December 15, the SHC directed the provincial authorities to classify all cases against Swati as C- class to do.

At the same hearing, the Sindh Attorney General informed the court that Swati had been transferred back to Islamabad, where his pre-trial detention in the FIA ​​case was extended by a further 15 days.

Recently, the BHC ordered the deletion of three remaining FIRs registered against the senator in the province.