November 2, 2021 – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has once again directed the FIA to consult with all stakeholders on the exercise of its powers under the cybercrime law.
On Tuesday, the Court heard the petitions regarding the FIA’s arbitrary use of the cybercrime act. Additional Attorney General Qasim Wadood and Deputy Attorney General Syed Tayyab Shah were present during the hearing. Whereas, Lawyers Imaan Mazari and Usman Warraich represented the petitioners before the Court.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the FIA should not waste its time in the cases of defamation under cybercrime law since it has other, more important, state-level duties to handle. The Court said that there are alternative courts to deal with the cases of defamation, and the citizens can go to them with their complaints. The FIA should not waste time processing every such request.
The Chief Justice further remarked that the Court wants to give a verdict on cybercrime and the powers of FIA. During the hearing, the Deputy Attorney General sought time to consult with stakeholders, which the court appreciated.
The Court also directed the federal government and the FIA to conclude the requested consultation process and submit a detailed report in the next hearing on December 8.
Former Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam and various journalists had challenged the notices sent to them by the FIA on which the Islamabad High Court had questioned the jurisdiction of the Authority. A citizen has also approached the High Court after the FIA issued a notice to him on the complaint of member National Assembly Kanwal Shauzab. This case is still pending in the court.