SHC orders PTA to check fake social media accounts

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairperson to immediately develop a mechanism to combat fake social media accounts used to harass women. A female private school teacher, who is a victim of a fake social media account, approached the court for justice.

Justice Salahuddin Panhwar while hearing the case said that the mechanism should scrutinise and identify owners of fake accounts so that action may be taken against them.

Justice Panhwar, in his remarks, said that fake social media accounts were destroying not just the lives of individuals but their families as well. The victim informed the court that Zohaib Hasan had sent a marriage proposal to her home, which her family had rejected knowing that Hasan was involved in suspicious activities. In order to take revenge against the rejection, Hasan made Facebook accounts under the teacher’s name and posted photoshopped images of her to defame her.
The victim said that this led to her sister’s divorce. She added that while the matter was reported to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), neither were the fake accounts shut down nor was the suspect apprehended by the authorities.

On the other hand, the FIA inspector, in his statement, said that mobile phone companies use a single IP address to provide internet connection to 5,000 customers. He added that it was the non-cooperation on the part of the private telecom operators that made it difficult to apprehend the suspect.

Shahzeb murder case

The SHC directed the defence counsel in Shahzeb murder case to continue arguments in appeals filed against the sentences awarded to the convicts. A three-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the appeals.

The advocate representing convicts Siraj Talpur and Sajjad Talpur, Mehmood Qureshi, argued that there was a clear contradiction in the witness’ statements. There was a difference of 90 minutes between the time the incident took place and the time the injured was shifted to the hospital. He added that the crime scene and the hospital were at a distance of just 10 minutes. He said that in order to adjust the misstatement by the witnesses, the authorities had misquoted the time at various points and argued that his clients werennocent.

The court adjourned the hearing until November 12. Shahrukh Jatoi and another, convicted in the case, were sentenced to death while two others have been awarded life imprisonment. The SHC is hearing appeals against the sentences.

100-day plan: PTI govt lags behind in meeting some targets

TDAP scandal

The SHC adjourned the hearing indefinitely in a case against the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gillani, who is accused in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) scandal.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto heard the plea requesting that the FIA be barred from initiating inquiry and registering cases against Gillani, who has been booked in 26 cases in the TDAP scandal. The hearing was adjourned due to the absence of the accused’s lawyer, Farooq H Naek.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2018.