The Sindh High Court's Hyderabad registry on Tuesday restrained the police from arresting PTI Senator Azam Swati in cases lodged against him within the jurisdiction — which includes Mithi, Nawabshah, and Hyderabad.

The court’s directives were issued during a hearing on the plea filed by the senator’s son Usman Swati which sought to quash the charges registered against the PTI leader.

Swati was arrested over a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets […] against state institutions” by the Federal Investigation Agency on November 27 and has been in detention since and continues to face legal action. He is currently in the custody of Qambar Shahdadkot police.

Earlier this week, the SHC's Karachi registry had barred the police from arresting the senator in additional cases and had sought details of the cases already registered against him in the province.

During the hearing today, Swati's counsel Noorul Haq Qureshi contended that the registration of multiple cases against the PTI leader was a violation of the Supreme Court's orders.

Subsequently, the court sought details of the cases registered against Swati from the Sindh inspector-general of police, the Hyderabad deputy inspector-general, and the director of the Federal Investigation Agency.

It has further summoned responses from the respondents in the case by January 11.

Arrests over tweets

Swati was first arrested by the FIA on charges of posting controversial tweets about the armed forces in October and was later released on bail.

The senator has alleged since that he was tortured in custody and demanded the removal of two military officials, one of whom he used foul language against in his tweet on November 26.

On November 27, the FIA arrested Swati for the second time over a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets […] against state institutions”.

The arrest came after an FIR was registered by the FIA on the complaint of the state through Islamabad Cyber Crime Reporting Centre Technical Assistant Aneesur Rehman.

The complaint was registered under Section 20 of Peca as well as Sections 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier from his duty),500 (punishment for defamation), 501 (defamation and printing of content deemed defamatory), Section 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 109 (abetment) of the PPC.

Following his arrest in November, the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority prohibited Azam’s media coverage on all satellite TV channels.

Separate FIRs were also registered against the PTI leader in Balochistan and Sindh as well.

On December 2, Swati was brought to Quetta from Islamabad in one such case registered at the Kuchlak police station, after the end of his initial 14-day remand. Subsequently, the judicial magistrate of Kuchlak remanded Swati in police custody for five days.

But on Friday, the Balochistan High Court ordered the quashing of all five cases registered against him in the province.

However, hours after the order was issued, the PTI senator was handed over to Sindh police.

The next day, two new cases were registered against Swati in Balochistan.

The cases were registered under Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 124A (sedition), and 123A (condemnation of the creation of the State, and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty) of the PPC.

The Capital Development Authority has also sealed Swati’s farmhouse, located on Islamabad’s Murree Road over alleged violation of building laws.

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