ISLAMABAD: Former senator Faisal Raza Abidi was booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the capital police for “defaming the Supreme Court and judges”.

The FIA and police will conduct separate investigations, police officials said, and that the former senator and others were booked under several charges, including the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the case registered with the FIA, a programme titled Subah Subah Naya Pakistan was aired by web channel Naya Pakistan on July 2, which was hosted by anchorperson Shanza Sheikh Rahman.

The guest speaker on the show was Faisal Raza Abidi.

It says that during the course of his appearance on the show, the accused, with criminal intent and ulterior motives and without any lawful justification used sarcastic, derogatory, disrespectful and defamatory language against the chief justice etc. which it says is tantamount to creating a sense of fear, panic and insecurity among the government, general public and society.

It says Faisal Raza Abidi is prima facie guilty of offences punishable under sections 10(a), 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016 read with sections 109 and 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

An FIA official said the case will be registered by the FIA’s cybercrime wing, which was registered under the prevention of the Electronic Crimes Act and the PPC.

Another case was registered at the Secretariat police station under PPC’s sections 228, 500, 505(ii) and 34 along with the ATA in response to a complaint lodged by SC Public Relations Officer Shahid Hussain Kambyo.

The FIR says the video went viral on social media and that the accused can be clearly seen in the video. The identity of the woman will be ascertained during the investigation.

It says the former senator was highly abusive, contemptuous, used threatening language and levelled allegations against government institutions which have been created via the Constitution and has also levelled accusations against individuals holding the highest constitutional posts.

The FIR says that via his speech, Mr Abidi created panic, scared the public and intimidated constitutional functionaries in order to refrain them from discharging their constitutional obligations.

It says the language and words used by Mr Abidi come under the ATA 1997, which are punishable under the ATA and other provisions of the PPC, it says.

A police officer told Dawn the anchorperson has been identified and action will also be taken against her.

Efforts for arresting the accused will be started after Ashura and a team will be sent to Karachi for making an arrest, he said.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

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