ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday heard a suo motu case on the transfer of Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jan Muhammad and formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe Federal Minister Azam Swati’s misconduct. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a suo motu case regarding the Islamabad IGP’s transfer. IGP 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 with a family at their farmhouse. Federal Minister for Science and Technology 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”. “The JIT will also probe into Swati’s assets,” the bench stated. “It will also inquire whether Swati can travel to the United States or not,” the bench further said. The JIT will include Intelligence Bureau (IB) official Ahmed Rizwan, Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Mirvais Niaz and an official from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and submit its report to the court within 14 days.
Further, the bench remarked, “The JIT will investigate the cases against Swati in the US and find out whether he can travel to the country or not.” The chief justice added, “These are decisive moments and will determine whether the rich and powerful can exploit others. If an inquiry is conducted on merit then it will strengthen people’s faith and confidence inPakistan’s institutions. This will be a service to the country and the generations to come.”
“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 and withdrew the order suspending the police chief’s transfer. Meanwhile, Jan Muhammad excused himself from continuing to perform duties as Islamabad IGP and told the bench, “I cannot work given the present circumstances and request the court to grant permission on my transfer.” The chief justice then said, “If he is saying then we permit the transfer. It is your choice and we will not stop you.”
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. Such an action was taken by a powerful minister,” Justice Nisar added. He further said, “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.”
Barrister Ali Zafar also appeared in court to represent Swati and the chief justice turned to him and said, “You represent every big person. I will cancel your license, tell me for how long I should cancel it.” Barrister Zafar then smiled and said, “You can cancel it for two months.” Justice Nisar in response 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 act, used money to reach a truce with the poor family and now regrets it,” Justice Nisar added.
The top judge further said, “We will form a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising officials of the FIA, NAB and IB.” He then directed the attorney general to submit names and said, “We will appoint the officers ourselves.”
Barrister Zafar then 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,” he added. The chief justice then heard the details of the fight from the child whose cow had entered Swati’s farmhouse. “This 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,” Justice Nisar remarked. The chief justice then directed IGP Islamabad Jan Muhammad to conduct an inquiry into the fight and “file whatever case is formed”. “I want this done. 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 can charge you under Article 62(1)(f) right now.” INP