Azam Swati, a PTI senator who was arrested last month for making offensive tweets about senior military personnel, has a farmhouse on Islamabad’s Murree Road that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) sealed on Saturday due to a violation of building regulations.
Since November 27, Swati has been arrested for his “extremely offensive campaign of disturbing tweets […] against governmental institutions.” He was flown to Quetta by the police last week, and yesterday the Balochistan High Court dismissed the five cases that had been brought against him. He was arrested by the Sindh police for cases there hours later.
The farmhouse was “transferred to Mrs. Tahira Swati” (the PTI leader’s wife) on March 25, 2014, and its building plan was authorized on May 7, 2015, claims a report released by the authority.
The CDA stated, “The basement was not approved in the development design,” adding that Swati received the first notice in this regard in 2016. It added that when a survey of the farmhouse was completed in 2018, a reminder was also sent to the senator.
The office building, tractor trolley shed, and servant quarter/kitchen was not built, which is a violation of the approved building plan. On November 29, 2018, the observations of the violations were separately communicated.
Accordingly, the CDA claimed that on November 4, 2022, Swati was given a show-cause notice under the ICT Building Control Regulations 2020, “with instructions to show sufficient cause within seven days as to why such violations have not been removed and why the premises may not be sealed off until compliance of the by-laws or removal of the same by the authority at the risk and cost aside from imposing a penalty.”
According to the article, the CDA informed the senator in the last notice on November 16 that it would seal the farmhouse if the violations were not corrected within seven days.
A restraining order for the farmhouse until November 30 was requested by Swati, it was further stated in the document. Following hearings on December 6, December 8, and December 9, the honorable Court of Saqib Jawad Civil decided that the application in question for the issuance of a temporary injunction will be withdrawn on December 9, 2022.
The report’s conclusion read, “As the temporary injunction is being denied, it is proposed that non-compoundable violations be removed by the authority along with sealing the premises/property with the help of the Enforcement Directorate and ICT administration until the owner’s willingness to comply on his own with the Islamabad Capital Territory Building Control Regulations-2020.”
Arrest and transfers
After the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) received a complaint from the state via Technical Assistant Aneesur Rehman of the Islamabad Cyber Crime Reporting Centre (CCRC), Swati was arrested last month.
The complaint was filed under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act of 2016 (Peca), which addresses offenses against a person’s dignity, as well as Sections 131 (assisting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier away from his duty), 500 (punishment for defamation), 501 (defamation and printing of content deemed defamatory), Section 505 (statement conducive to public mischief), and Section 109 (abetment) (PPC).
Additionally, separate FIRs were filed against the PTI leader in Sindh and Balochistan. In one of these cases, which was reported to the Kuchlak police station, Swati was taken to Quetta from Islamabad last week.
Swati had been remanded in custody by the Kuchlak judicial magistrate for a period of five days. The Balochistan High Court ordered the dismissal of all five cases brought against him in the province at a hearing on Friday.
In a similar study, the Sindh High Court yesterday sent notice to the police, FIA, and additional respondents in two petitions contesting the filing of similar proceedings against Swati in the province.
The police were instructed to provide information of the cases on December 22, which was the next hearing date, by the two-judge panel, which was presided over by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha.