KARACHI: A judicial magistrate on Thursday indicted Dania Shah, the widow of late politician and anchorperson Aamir Liaquat Hussain, for leaking his indecent videos online.

Judicial Magistrate (East) Mukesh Kumar read out charges to the suspect, Dania Shah, who was produced from the prison.

However, she pleaded not guilty and opted to contest.

Therefore, the judge summoned the witnesses of the prosecution on Feb 2 to record their testimonies against the accused and adjourned the hearing.

The Federal Investigation Agency had arrested Dania Shah from her house in Lodhran on Dec 15 and brought to Karachi.

The magistrate ruled that Dania Shah in May 2022 and afterwards without authorisation of Aamir Liaquat, surreptitiously recorded, obtained his personal identity information (his sexually explicit images and videos) and then used, transmitted through information system i.e. in the cyber village of multiple social media platforms. She committed an offence punishable under section 16 (1) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

He further ruled that she also issued threats with dire consequences through Youtube programmes, by harming the privacy and dignity of Mr Hussain as well as by criminally intimidating him. She committed offence of violating dignity and privacy of natural person punishable under section 20 (1).

Thirdly, the accused intentionally and publically exhibited, transmitted Mr Hussain’s sexually explicit images and videos through multiple social media platforms, just to harm the reputation, blackmail and take revenge from the complainant, committing offences punishable under section 21 (1) (b) (c) (d).

Fourthly, with intention to intimidate, coerce and harass the complainant, her father and whole family, disseminated such explicit image and videos without his consent which caused harm to the victim. So, she committed cyber stalking punishable under section 24 (2) (d).

Last month, the same court had dismissed an application seeking grant of post-arrest bail to the suspect, observing that the matter was at a premature stage of investigation, since no investigation report under Section 173 of the criminal procedure code had been filed yet.

He noted that while “no sexually explicit videos of the late lawmaker were recovered from the possession of Shah” the prosecutor claimed that all such videos had been deleted from her gadgets by the suspect.

“The material collected during the investigation into the matter so far apparently connected the suspect with the commissioning of the alleged offence”, pointed out the judge.

He also observed that the suspect had prima facie violated the victim’s fundamental rights to dignity, privacy and modesty, which were inalienable rights of every person and as per the complainant’s counsel argued that release of Mr Liaquat’s personal videos in public sphere was the main cause of his death.

Dua Aamir, daughter of the late TV anchor, had lodged an FIR against Dania Shah under Sections 20 (malicious code), 21 (cyberstalking) and 24 (legal recognition of offences committed in relation to information system) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2023

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