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SHC tells FIA, PTA to block scandalous material against TV actresses

Kubra Khan has filed a petition filed against scandalous and defamatory campaign against her and three other TV actresses on social media

By Jamal Khurshid
January 06, 2023
—Kubra Khan Twitter
—Kubra Khan Twitter

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block defamatory and scandalous online material against television actress Rabia Iqbal, alias Kubra Khan, on social media sites.

The interim order came on a petition filed by the actress against scandalous and defamatory campaign against her and three other TV actresses on social media. The petitioner submitted that a Youtuber who claimed himself as rights activist and former army officer had made false allegations against four actresses of the media industry degrading them and causing an affront to their modesty and dignity by alleging that they were used by agencies to lure politicians into compromising positions at safe houses.

A counsel for the petitioner submitted that Youtuber Adil Farooq Raja later on uploaded another video where he clarified the issue and retracted from his earlier version but during the process it had irreparably damaged the reputation of the actresses, including the petitioner, on account of the contents uploaded on social media sites and cyberspace.

The counsel submitted that the act of the Youtuber was strictly cognisable under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (Peca) and the PTA was the designated agency to check such illegalities and pass orders to ensure removal of such content.

He submitted that the FIA and PTA had been approached for removal of such content but no action had been taken against the Youtuber or removal of the defamatory and scandalous content.

The high court was requested to direct the PTA and FIA to take immediate action against perpetrators of the Peca law. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar after preliminary hearing of the petition issued notices to the FIA, PTA and others and called their comments.

In the meantime, the high court directed the FIA and PTA to block such channels and handles involved in circulating defamatory campaign against the actresses and remained vigilant in this regard.