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IHC rejects FIA request for extension in Swati’s remand

Senate session adjourned amidst opposition’s protest over PTI leader’s arrest

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected the extension of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati’s additional physical remand in the case pertaining to his controversial tweet about state institutions.

After rejecting the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) request for the extension, the IHC ordered for the accused to be sent to jail on judicial remand. The development comes a day after the court granted a one-day extension for Swati’s remand. In the earlier hearing, the prosecutor argued that an extension was required for the investigation officer to recover the PTI leader’s cell phone which was used to post the controversial tweet. In a separate development, the PTI leader filed a post-arrest bail application. His counsel Sohail Khan Swati appeared before the court on his behalf.

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Special Judge Central Raja Asif Mehmood issued notices to the FIA over the petition, and directed to submit a by October 19. The court also summoned the FIA investigator, along with all the record pertaining to the case. The hearing of the case will now be held on January 19.

Swati was taken into custody by the FIA’s Cybercrime Wing (CCW) from his home in Islamabad on October 13, after which he was presented before senior civil judge Shabbir Bhatti’s court in the federal capital which approved a two-day remand. The agency’s cybercrime wing had registered a case against Swati later over the controversial tweets.

Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Monday adjourned the proceedings of the House amid the opposition’s protest over the arrest of Senator Azam Khan Swati. At the onset of the proceedings, opposition leader Dr Shahzad Waseem started agitation over Swati’s arrest and lately joined by all opposition members.

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Sanjrani made several requests for smooth functioning of the House and conduct of legislative business, but the opposition members circled his dais and continued their protest.

The chairman adjourned the session to meet again on Thursday (October 20) at 4pm.



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