Thursday Nov 29, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday, while hearing the case pertaining to the transfer of Islamabad IGP Jan Muhammad, remarked that Federal Minister Azam Swati misused his powers and sought a clarification from him under Article 62 (1)(F) of the Constitution.
A bench headed by the chief justice heard the suo motu case of the Islamabad IGP’s transfer at the Supreme Court.
As the hearing went under way, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati’s lawyer, Ali Zafar, informed the bench that the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe the minister’s misconduct had submitted a sealed report before the court. “I have yet to receive a copy of the report,” Swati’s counsel said.
At this, the chief justice remarked, “Swati misused his powers and the JIT report states that the federal minister was accorded special treatment.”
The federal minister’s counsel told the bench that his client is travelling abroad as part of a delegation. Justice Nisar responded, “We do not know any minister, in front of the court everyone is equal.”
“The question is whether such a person should remain minister? We will have to keep in mind Article 62 (1)(F). We are issuing a notice to Swati to satisfy us under Article 62 (1)(F),” the top judge added.
Further, Justice Nisar added, “We will also have to see how many acres of land Swati has encroached on.”
Swati’s counsel then informed the bench that the federal minister will return on December 3. “I can get a reply submitted one week after that,” the counsel said.
In response, the chief justice said, “I can get him to return to the country.”
The top judge further inquired about the whereabouts of the affected family and when they appeared before the court, Justice Nisar remarked, “We are fighting for your respect and for your daughters. How did you reach an agreement with them? We do not permit you to enter an agreement with them. Why should they be forgiven? Were your daughters not imprisoned?”
Directing the affected family to not enter an agreement with Swati’s family, the court sought a reply from Swati on JIT’s report by Tuesday. The hearing of the case was then adjourned till December 4.
Meanwhile, key revelations were made in a report submitted in court by the JIT formed by the SC to probe Swati’s misconduct in the case.
The report stated that a day after the incident, minister of state for interior and SSP Operations visited Swati’s house.
“Police sided with Swati’s family and did not conduct a transparent investigation. The police deliberately adopted an irresponsible attitude,” the report read.
“On October 30, the affected Niaz Ali was granted bail and Swati’s son that he had no reservations to his bail after which the matter was resolved through an agreement,” it added.
The report further quoted Niaz Ali as saying that a Jirga visited his house and “as a Pakhtun he could not refuse the Jirga so forgave the suspects”.
“Swati’s wife took clothes for Niaz Ali’s children and he was also offered money which he refused to take. All this happened after the SC took suo motu notice of the case,” the report upheld.
The JIT report comprising five volumes further said, “Swati family’s statement is full of lies and baseless.”
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of Islamabad IGP Jan Muhammad’s abrupt transfer last month. The IGP was transferred on October 27 after he allegedly refused to take action on a complaint by the son of Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati, regarding a fight over purported encroachment with a family at their farmhouse.
The apex court had formed a JIT to probe allegations of misuse of authority, misconduct and encroachment against the minister.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the transfer of Islamabad IGP and suspended the transfer of Jan Muhammad but had to withdraw its order after he excused himself from performing duties as Islamabad IGP.