ISLAMABAD: Former science and technology minister Azam Khan Swati approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to ask the court to stop defamation proceedings initiated against him by former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi.

Kazmi, in 2011, filed a defamation suit against Swati for leveling corruption allegations against him in Haj arrangement in 2010.

In November 2010, Swati, a minister in the PPP government, publicly held Kazmi responsible for the mismanagement in the Haj arrangements.

Later, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also incorporated various statements of Swati in the investigation report of Haj corruption case.

On account of his defamation in the legal suit, Kazmi requested the additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) to recover Rs100 million from Swati. On November 7, 2013, the judge framed charges against Swati and summoned the witnesses.

Recently, Swati through his counsel Afnan Karim Kundi filed a petition before IHC Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi to set aside the framing of charges against him.

The petition stated that the ADSJ had not sufficiently discussed the arguments of the petitioner and the order of November 7 lacked adequate reasoning.

It said the petitioner had requested the court to record evidence of the FIA officers concerned, who were involved in the investigation of corruption in managing Haj in 2010 along with several journalists from print and electronic media whose evidence was relevant and essential in the suit.

According to the petition, the said request was not entertained by the ADSJ and he decided to indict Mr Swati and continued proceedings against him.

The court, after the preliminary hearing of the matter, adjourned it for a date to be fixed later by the registrar office.

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