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Saturday, June 3, 2023

SHC Instructs FIA, PTA to Suppress Controversial Content Involving TV Actresses

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have been ordered by the Sindh High Court (SHC) to block scandalous and defamatory online content against television actress Rabia Iqbal, aka Kubra Khan, on social media platforms.

The actress had petitioned against a scandalous and defamatory campaign on social media that targeted her and three other TV actresses, leading to the interim ruling. The petitioner claimed that a YouTuber who identified himself as a rights activist and former army officer had made false accusations against four media industry actresses, degrading them and insulting their modesty and dignity by alleging that they were used by agencies to entice politicians into compromising positions at safe houses.

A lawyer for the petitioner claimed that while YouTuber Adil Farooq Raja later uploaded a new video in which he clarified the situation and backtracked on his original claims, the damage done to the petitioner’s reputation as well as the reputation of the other actresses due to the materials posted on social media platforms and in cyberspace was irreparable. According to the attorney, the YouTuber’s actions were strictly punishable under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA), and the PTA was the appropriate body to investigate such crimes and issue decrees requiring the deletion of such content.

He claimed that despite requests for the removal of such content, the FIA and PTA did not take any action against the YouTuber or take down the scandalous and defamatory content. The high court was asked to order the PTA and FIA to take swift action against PECA law violators.

Following a preliminary hearing of the case, a division bench of the SHC led by Justice Salah Uddin Panhwar sent notifications to the FIA, PTA, and other parties and requested their views. The high court remained vigilant in this regard and ordered the FIA and PTA to block any channels or handles participating in spreading defamatory campaigns against the actresses.

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