SC mulls proceeding against Swati under Article 62

The Supreme Court mulled proceeding against Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati under Article 62 during hearing of a suo motu case regarding the ‘unlawful’ transfer of the Islamabad police chief Jan Mohammad, and ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.
The CJP had taken suo motu notice of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Jan Mohammad’s transfer in the wake of conflicting reports about the reasons behind his transfer.
Local media had reported that the IGP was transferred because he did not attend minister Azam Swati’s phone calls, but Swati has denied this.
The government also rejected the reports, saying that the decision had been taken because the IGP’s performance was not satisfactory.
Justice Nisar had earlier suspended the IGP’s transfer after it emerged that he had been removed from the post following verbal directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan.
As the CJP resumed hearing of the case today, Swati’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar submitted an apology on behalf of the minister in court which held the police responsible for an argument between a family that had allegedly encroached on the minister’s land and his staff.
The court, however, rejected the apology and said that it would form a JIT to probe the transfer of the Islamabad police chief.
The JIT can include officials from the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency, he said.
“We will also examine Article 62(1)(f) in this matter,” the CJP said. “We have great respect for the Parliament. Power should not be misused this way.”
He remarked that Swati should resign from his post immediately.
The IGP’s transfer took place after Swati’s son had registered a case against slum dwellers allegedly trespassing on the family’s land. Five people, including two women, were arrested for trespassing and beating Swati’s guards.
However, they were released after a day’s detention, as police sources said a settlement had been reached between the minister and the detained family.
The court today said it did not recognise resolutions carried out by jirgas.
The affected family appeared in court. One family member told the bench: “I am a poor man, but I forgave Azam Swati for Pakistan’s sake.”
“You can forgive him if that suits you, but we will investigate the matter,” the CJP told him. “Swati should own up to his wrongdoing.”
“Let’s leave the JIT aside for now,” the CJP said. “Let’s proceed under Article 62 instead,” he said, as the minister had misused his influence. “We need pious people to run this country,” the CJP commented.
The court subsequently issued a notice to Swati.
IGP Jan Mohammad also appeared in court today. The CJP asked him why he hadn’t filed a complaint against Swati, to which the police chief replied that it was because he was abroad.
The CJP asked whether another complaint could be filed in the matter, and directed that, if possible, it should be filed today.
The IGP appeared reluctant to resume charge of his duties in Islamabad, after which the court also removed its earlier suspension of the directives for the IGP’s transfer.
The court eventually decided to form a JIT to probe the matter of the IGP’s transfer. The JIT will comprise three officials ─ one each from the FIA, NAB and the Intelligence Bureau.