Defaming SC judges online: Court grants bail to suspect

FIA had demanded five-day physical remand of the suspect

Mudassir Raja August 02, 2017

RAWALPINDI: A local court on Tuesday granted bail to a man who had been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for posting objectionable materials on Facebook defaming judges of the Supreme Court.

Magistrate Muhammad Awais, a special judge for Prevention of Electronic Crimes, granted bail to Faisal Bashir, a resident of Haripur, against surety bonds worth Rs100,000.

The FIA on Tuesday requested the court to grant a five-day physical remand of Bashir. However, the court observed that under section 16 and 20 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA), the charges on which the suspect was arrested were bailable.

Granting bail, the court fixed August 15 as the next date of hearing in the case. Earlier, FIA Rawalpindi had registered a criminal case against Bashir for posting derogatory and defamatory material against judges of the superior court on his Facebook page on July 29 – a day after prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court After receiving information about the posts, the agency initiated an inquiry and booked Bashir on July 31 and subsequently arrested him.

During initial investigations, officials learnt that the accused had posted the derogatory material, constituting a crime under PECA. Separately, FIA immigration staff at Benazir Bhutto International Airport arrested a woman, who had arrived from the UK, after she failed to provide necessary travel documents to officials.

According to available details, Shanzey Syed arrived at the BBIA from London via Doha. Initially, the woman told FIA officials that she had lost her passport during the travel.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2017.


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