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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday granted extra time to the special prosecutor in an appeal seeking the cancellation of post-arrest bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Khan Swati in the controversial tweets case.

A single bench of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

During the hearing, the special prosecutor, Raja Rizwan Abbasi, appeared before the court and sought time for case preparation. The IHC bench accepted his request and deferred the hearing of the case.

In this matter, the federal government moved the IHC seeking cancellation of PTI leader Swati’s bail in the case of the controversial tweets. The federal government filed the petition in the IHC through FIA officer Anees ur Rehman.

The FIA, in its petition, stated that the special court did not even rely on the judgements cited by the prosecution and the bail granted order was “not tenable in [the eyes of the] law”.

Citing the sections of law invoked against Swati, the FIA contended that the special court could have passed an order to the extent of PECA as the rest of the sections were beyond its ambit.

It mentioned that Special Judge Central Raja Asif Mehmood had exceeded his authority and granted bail to Swati. The judge had granted bail to the senior PTI leader against surety bonds worth Rs 1 million.

The petition said that the court was competent only to the extent of PECA 2016 and not other sections of the PPC but, while exercising powers on all sections, the court travelled beyond jurisdiction. Hence, the impugned order is illegal.

It added that the learned judge has ignored the above-said provision and passed an order in a slipshod manner and in fact, tried to escape the above-said provision of law, hence, the order is not sustainable and without jurisdiction.

In light of the arguments, the government requested the IHC to accept the petition at the earliest and the bail granted under Sections 109 (punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 131 (Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 500 (punishment for defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) be revoked.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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