Tuesday May 30, 2023

SHC tells TV actress to record statement at FIA investigator’s office

January 10, 2023

The Sindh High Court on Monday directed TV actress Rabia Iqbal alias Kubra Khan to visit the investigation officer of federal investigation agency to record her statement with regard to defamatory and scandalous online material against her and other TV actresses on social media sites.

The direction came on a petition filed by Khan against scandalous and defamatory campaign against her and three other TV actresses on social media. The court had earlier ordered the FIA and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block defamatory and scandalous online material against the TV actresses on social media sites.

The FIA inspector filed a progress report submitting that an inquiry was registered at the FIA cybercrime circle following court directions on a petition of Kubra Khan in the court. The FIA officer submitted that all alleged social media sites and links were provided to the focal person of the PTA for the blocking of the alleged accounts. The officer further requested the court to direct the petitioner to visit the FIA office for the purpose of recording her statement for further proceedings.

A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, directed the petitioner to visit the FIA officer at her office for recording her statement. The court also repeated notices to PTA and called their comments on January 26.

Kubra Khan had submitted in the petition that YouTuber Adil Raja, who claimed himself to be a rights activist and former army officer, 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 intelligence agencies and the establishment to lure politicians into compromising positions at safe houses.

The petitioner counsel submitted that Raja later on uploaded another video where he clarified the issue and retracted from his earlier version; however, during the process, it irreparably damaged the reputation of the actresses, including the petitioner, and on account of the contents uploaded on social media sites and cyber space.

The counsel submitted that the act of the YouTuber was strictly cognizable under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and the PTA was the designated agency to take action against such illegalities, pass orders to stop such transmissions and ensure the removal of such content.

He said the FIA and the PTA had been approached for the removal of such content, but no action had been taken against the YouTuber or for the removal of the defamatory and scandalous content. The court was requested to direct the PTA and the FIA to take immediate action against the perpetrators.