Can FIA file case against Google, wonders LHC

Published December 29, 2020
Several FIA officials were present in the court in compliance with the chief justice’s directives issued during the previous hearing. — Wikimedia Commons/File
Several FIA officials were present in the court in compliance with the chief justice’s directives issued during the previous hearing. — Wikimedia Commons/File

LAHORE: Hearing a petition against the government’s failure to remove blasphemous material from internet, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Monday asked a federal law officer if the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has the jurisdiction to lodge a case against search engine Google.

Several FIA officials were present in the court in compliance with the chief justice’s directives issued during the previous hearing.

To a court query, a deputy attorney general admitted that the FIA was responsible for taking action against any objectionable and blasphemous material available on internet.

Chief Justice Khan observed that the situation was getting worse by the day. “What kind of [state of Madina] is it that the basic responsibility is not being fulfilled?” the chief justice asked.

CJ says agency should establish wing to exclusively deal with blasphemous content

He observed that the FIA should establish a wing to exclusively deal with blasphemous material. He asked the law officer as to what action the FIA could take if someone from outside the country was involved in spreading blasphemous material on the internet. He also directed the law officer to assist on a point whether the FIA could register a case against Google if any blasphemous material was not removed.

The chief justice would resume the hearing on Dec 30 at the Multan bench of the court.

Advocate Azhar Haseeb had filed the petition seeking a directive for the government to get the name of the leader of Ahmadi community as a caliph of Islam removed from Google.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2020

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