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SC forms JIT to probe Swati’s ‘misconduct’

ISLAMABAD: While hearing a suo motu case regarding transfer of Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Supreme Court Friday formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati’s alleged misconduct, a private TV channel reported.
Islamabad IGP Jan Muhammad was transferred on October 27 after he allegedly refused to take action on a complaint by Federal Minister Azam Swati’s son regarding a fight at their farmhouse.
Azam Swati, the affected family, the attorney general and Islamabad IGP appeared before the bench. During the hearing, the chief justice ordered the formation of a JIT to inquire whether Swati as a minister was involved in misconduct or not regarding the Islamabad IGP’s transfer. “The JIT will also hold probe into Swati’s assets,” the bench stated. “The JIT will investigate the cases against Swati in the US and find out whether he can travel to the country or not,” it added.
The JIT will be headed by DG National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi Irfan Mangi and will include Intelligence Bureau (IB) official Ahmed Rizwan and Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Mirvais Niaz. The team will submit its report to the court within 14 days.
“These are decisive moments and will determine whether the rich and the powerful can exploit others. If an inquiry is conducted on merit, it will strengthen people’s faith and confidence in Pakistan’s institutions. This will be a service to the country and the generations to come,” the chief justice said. “Poor people are pressured and the affected family has forgiven Swati but we have not forgiven him,” he added.
Earlier during the hearing, Jan Muhammad excused himself from performing duties as Islamabad IGP after which the Supreme Court withdrew the order suspending the police chief’s transfer. “I cannot work given the present circumstances and request the court to grant permission of my transfer,” he pleaded in the court. “If he is saying, then we permit the transfer. It is your choice and we will not stop you,” the chief justice said.
Following this, the head of the affected family, Niaz Muhammad, told the court, “We have had a truce. I am a poor man and cannot tarnish the country’s image.” However, the chief justice said, “This is not a matter of the country’s image. The family may have forgiven but this is a crime against the state. We will get an inquiry conducted into the matter.”
“We do not accept the pact made in front of a jirga. He is a big man and got poor people arrested, beaten up and then even got the IGP transferred,” he added.

Barrister Ali Zafar appeared in court to represent Azam Swati. The chief justice turned to him and said, “You represent every big man. I will cancel your licence, tell me for how long should I cancel it.” Barrister Zafar smiled and said, “You can cancel it for two months.” Justice Nisar said, “You represent everyone who carries out unjust acts.”
Presenting his arguments, Barrister Zafar said, “Swati regrets his actions.” The chief justice then said, “If he regrets it, then he should resign from his post.” “He used his post to carry out such an act, used money to reach a truce with the poor family and now regrets it,” he added.
Barrister Zafar said, “There has been a truce which is as per Islamic laws.” To this, the chief justice said, “Islamic laws are a gift from God. Whenever you get stuck, you bring up Islamic laws. Islamic laws also state that if he regrets what he did then he should resign from his post. We will not allow any minister to crush a poor family like this.”
The chief justice then heard the details of the fight from the child whose cow had entered Swati’s farmhouse. “This is a case of misconduct,” he remarked. “Courts are not weak. Is this minister the owner of this country?” the top judge further asked. “I do not want to include officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in every JIT, so we will get an inquiry conducted through other related institutions,” he remarked.
The chief justice then directed Islamabad IGP to conduct an inquiry into the fight and file whatever case is formed. “I want this done today. The minister should be treated the same way as a common man,” he added.
Turning to Swati, the chief justice said, “You stopped their source of income. Is this your honesty?” “We will also examine Article 62(1)(f) in this matter,” he added.

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