BHC orders quashing of FIRs against Swati

Lawyer says PTI leader handed over to Sindh police


Syed Ali Shah December 09, 2022
PTI senator Azam Swati. PHOTO: Express/Saqib Bashir

QUETTA:

PTI Senator Azam Swati on Friday was handed over to the custody of Sindh police in Quetta, hours after the Balochistan High Court ordered the quashing of all FIRs registered against him in the province over his controversial tweets against the military high-ups and release him if he was not wanted in any other case.

Swati’s lawyer Iqbal Shah while confirming the development said the senator had been transferred to Sindh through a special plane.

PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry claimed in a tweet that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s plane went to Quetta to secure Swati.

He added that the senator had been arrested on the same charges the BHC had quashed.

Fawad maintained that Swati was transferred to Larkana and then shifted to Qambar-Shahdadkot.

PTI Balochistan President Qasim Suri tweeted that the party was going to quash the remaining FIRs against Swati after the BHC order.

However, he claimed that the Sindh police “abducted him in their special plane and took him to an unidentified location”.

He added that the law and Constitution had been turned into a “joke”.

Another PTI leader Shireen Mazari tweeted the way Swati was being treated, it appeared that his use of a few intemperate words was the greatest threat to Pakistan's security instead of terrorism or Indian military ambitions.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar tweeted that Swati was released in Balochistan and arrested again in Sindh over the same charges.

“The law is being buried every day,” he added.

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Earlier in the day, the BHC ordered to quash all the FIRs registered against the PTI senator and release him if he was not wanted in some other case.

BHC senior judge Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar presided over a hearing regarding an application filed by Osman Swati, son of the senator, in connection with the cases filed against his father.

On November 27, the senator was taken into custody for the second time after a raid at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, Islamabad, by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing for allegedly tweeting against senior military officials.

He was arrested and booked under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 (Peca), which deals with offences against the dignity of a person.

Multiple cases had been registered against the senator, including in Sindh and Balochistan.

Swati was taken to Quetta via a special flight from Islamabad airport after the federal capital’s judicial magistrate handed over his custody to the Balochistan police.

From the Quetta airport, he was transferred to Kuchlak.

On Sunday, a district court in Quetta remanded him in police custody for five days.

A day later, his son approached the BHC against the FIRs registered against his father Swati and the court restrained the provincial government and authorities from registering any more cases against the senator.

During Friday’s proceedings, the BHC judge resumed hearing of the plea filed by the senator’s son. He reprimanded the police for registering multiple cases against Swati.

He inquired whether or not the Balochistan police chief was aware of the cases registered against the senator.

The police told the judge that their chief was unaware about the FIRs.

Justice Kakar observed that further extension in Swati’s remand was not required.

The judge inquired on what basis was his first remand approved.

The police reiterated the BHC judge's observation that the senator’s remand was no longer required.

To this, the judge inquired why did the police take steps because of which they and the court had to hide their faces.

The BHC judge then directed the police to quash all the FIRs registered against the senator in the province and release him if he was not wanted in any other case.

(With input from agencies)

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