The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered on Thursday against the registration of more cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Swati in the province over the controversial tweets matter.
“No more cases should be [registered] against Azam Swati in Sindh,” the two-member bench remarked during the hearing of a plea filed by his son Usman Swati against the cases.
The senator is facing charges of libel for using foul language against military officers in his tweets. He had been in Sindh police custody before being shifted to Islamabad after the hearing on Thursday.
Swati was arrested over a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets […] against state institutions” by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on November 27 from Islamabad and has been in detention since then — first in Quetta and later in Sindh’s Qambar.
At the outset of the hearing, Sindh Prosecutor-General Faiz Shah, Sindh Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon, South Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Irfan Baloch, DIG Fida Hussain Janwari, Malir Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and other officials attended the hearing.
The Sindh prosecutor-general told the court Swati’s custody has been transferred to the Islamabad Police.
“All the cases against Swati have been C-classed, therefore all the pleas filed in his cases have become ineffective,” he said.
The official said that the cases against Swati had been lodged by private persons and the authorities were bound to record their statements under the law.
At this, Usman’s lawyer said that the Sindh IGP has done a great job.
During the hearing, Justice KK Agha remarked that the government of Sindh and Sindh IGP can take credit for resolving the matter.
The prosecutor-general said that all matters will be dealt with as per the law.
The court remarked that cases against Swati had been registered in different areas under similar charges.
While issuing directives against the registration of cases against Swati, the court disposed of Usman’s pleas and ordered the submission of reports on the C-class status of the cases in relevant courts within three days.
Later, Swati was shifted to Islamabad via a special jet from Sukkur, sources privy to the matter said. They said that Islamabad Superintendent of Police (SP) Rukhsar Mehdi took Swati with him.
THE CASE: Swati was booked in multiple cases across the country for his controversial tweets against senior military officers.
Initially, the senator was arrested by the FIA, on October 14, after he posted a highly-hateful and threatening message against the army chief, judiciary, and other state institutions, on his official Twitter account.
The senator had secured bail in that case. But on November 27, FIA once again arrested Swati for using abusive language against senior military officers, including former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
On December 2, Balochistan police arrested Swati for a similar case registered against him in Quetta.
At the time of his arrest, he was already on judicial remand in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, following his detention for a second time in the controversial tweets case. He was then shifted to Quetta under a transit remand acquired by the Balochistan police.
However, the Balochistan High Court had issued directives not to register any more cases against Swati in the province and cancel all existing FIRs against him in the province.
But on December 9, Balochistan police handed over Swati to Sindh police.