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KARACHI: A district court on Monday extended an interim pre-arrest bail of journalist Shahzeb Ali Shah Jillani by two days in a case pertaining to alleged cyber terrorism, electronic forgery and giving defamatory remarks about institutions of the state.

The Federal Investigation Agency had booked Mr Jillani in a case registered under Sections 10(a) (cyber terrorism), 11 (electronic forgery) and 20 (malicious code) of the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act, 2016, on the complaint of Moulvi Iqbal Haider.

On April 11, the court had granted the journalist an interim bail before arrest against a surety bond of Rs100,000.

On Monday, the bail plea came up before district and sessions judge (South) Imdad Hussain Khoso. The investigating officer (IO) was absent despite the court’s directive to appear along with police papers.

Case pertains to alleged cyber terrorism, electronic forgery and defamatory remarks about institutions

Extending Mr Jillani’s interim bail by two days, the judge directed him to continue to cooperate in the investigations and also summoned the IO on the next date.

Mr Haider had lodged the FIR on April 6, stating that Mr Jillani had uttered “defamatory remarks against respected institutions” during a programme, Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath, on Dunya News channel on Dec 8, 2017.

The complainant further said Mr Jillani had even accused the law enforcement agencies of involvement in kidnappings and disappearances.

Mr Haider added that Mr Jillani made similar remarks during a programme on March 18.

Mr Haider alleged that the journalist was working for “foreign agencies” and spread hate against the state on social media as well.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019