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Islamabad court throws out Azam Swati’s bail plea in controversial tweets case

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  • Court says senator committed “same offence” for second time.
  • Judge had reserved verdict after hearing arguments in case.
  • Senator was booked by FIA for using abusive language on November 27.

ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of Senator Azam Swati’s in the controversial tweets case against him, saying the “same offence” has been committed twice.

The verdict was issued by Islamabad Special Judge Central Azam Khan. He had reserved the judgement earlier today. 

During the hearing, prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi explained the court the process of verifying a Twitter account. He added that Swati has a “blue tick” on his Twitter account and is followed by famous personalities.

“Famous journalists and political personalities follow Azam Swati,” said the lawyer. He added that the senator has never distanced himself from the account.

“There is no question that the Twitter account is not of Azam Swati,” said Abbasi.

While concluding his arguments the prosecutor and government lawyer urged the court not to grant bail to the senator in the case.

On the other hand, the PTI senator’s lawyer, Sohail Khan, contended that a cybercrime case cannot be registered over screenshots.

The judge after hearing the arguments reserved the verdict and said that it would be issued in 20 minutes. 

Controversial tweets cases

Swati is booked in multiple cases across the country for his controversial tweets against senior military officers. 

Initially, the senator was arrested by the Federal Investigation Authority (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 the top military brass, including the former army chief.

The senator was booked in multiple cases across the country related to those tweets. 

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 Adiala Jail and was shifted to Quetta under a transit remand acquired by the Balochistan police.

Later, Balochistan High Court (BHC) ordered the quashing of all cases registered against the senator in the case. 

Once, BHC issued the order the Sindh Police took the senator into its custody over the case. 

The senator then approached the Sindh High Court. The court also directed the quashing of all cases against senator in the province after the police said that the cases have been labelled as “C class”. 

Following the orders, Islamabad Police took the senator into his custody and brought him to the federal capital. 

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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Senior PML-N leaders want the X ban lifted.

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A veteran party leader and former railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, claimed the caretaker government’s social media ban didn’t help anyone.

Saad Rafique warned his party’s present government to avoid becoming a laughing stock since politics requires political moves.

“Bans and prohibitions come where dictatorship prevails over democracy,” PML-N veteran Javed Abbasi remarked of the social media ban.

“Can we ban matches factories fearing they ignite fire?” he asked. He said, “We scare of truth and try to keep it under the veil.”

He called the PML-N administration cruel for banning free speech.

The Interior Ministry said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday that X, formerly Twitter, needed to be banned since it violated Pakistani legislation.

Interior Secretary Khurram Agha reported on the high court’s rulings on the social media ban petition for the ministry.

Social networking site X was down for two months in Pakistan when the hearing took place.

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