IHC needs more help in Swati bail withdrawal plea

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday sought further assistance on the question of the lack of jurisdiction of a lower court to cancel the bail of PTI leader Azam Khan Swati in the case of controversial tweets against state institutions in a federal government’s petition.

IHC’s Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition filed by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) technical assistant Anisur Rehman.

Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi appeared in the court on behalf of the petitioner and contended that Special Judge Central Raja Asif could deal with cases under the provisions of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).

However, he added, the judge had exceeded his jurisdiction by granting bail to Swati.

In the petition, the government requested the IHC that the order of the special judge be declared “illegal” and Swati’s bail be withdrawn.

The IHC observed that it would require further assistance in the matter.

The court then adjourned the hearing of the plea for a week.

On October 25, the special court of Islamabad had granted bail to Swati and ordered him to submit his passport and deposit a bond of Rs10,000.

“The charge of instigation for sedition requires more inquiry under the relevant clauses,” the court observed in its written judgment. “The intention and objective of the petitioner’s tweet will prove after recording evidence in the trial,” it added.

The PTI senator was arrested by the FIA in Islamabad on October 13 for his controversial tweets.

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