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Lahore court orders registration of FIR against Babar Azam, others in harassment case

Lahore court orders registration of FIR against Babar Azam, others in harassment case

A sessions court in Lahore has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Circle to register a first information report (FIR) against Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam and others in a harassment case, noting that a regular inquiry had already started into the matter.

Judge Hamid Hussain passed the order on the petition of a woman, Hamiza Mukhtar, on Wednesday.

The petitioner alleged that she was constantly receiving “threatening messages” from different mobile numbers on WhatsApp. The unknown persons also used to “threaten and blackmail her that they have her objectionable pictures and videos and will upload [them] on social media in order to harm her repute in society and ruin her life”.

Mukhtar had turned to the FIA to trace the unknown numbers, in the process of which it was found that one of the numbers was registered in the name of one Muhammad Babar Azam, according to a report submitted to the court by the FIA.

The owners of the mobile numbers — Maryam Ahmed, Muhammad Babar and Salme BB — were served notices to join the FIA’s inquiry proceedings to record their version, the report added. Of the three, only Ahmed appeared in front of the agency and denied that she knew the petitioner and had sent her abusive messages.

According to the report, Ahmed had stated that she would provide her mobile phone for technical analysis but she failed to do so.

Babar’s Brother Faisal Azam appeared on behalf of the cricketer and requested the FIA to “wait for some time” to record Babar’s statement. However, Babar has not yet appeared for the inquiry, the report added.

Listing the grounds for the petition, Mukhtar stated that the respondent in the case — SHO Cyber Crime Wing Lahore — had a “duty to register [a] criminal case against accused if from contents of application/complaint or information given to him an offence was made out”.

However, the investigating officer concerned had “not performed his lawful duty […] and had declined to take any legal action due to extraneous reasons”.

In his order, the judge wrote that since a regular inquiry had already commenced on the petitioner’s complaint, the “respondent is ordered to proceed further with respect to registration of FIR against the culprits within the stipulated time after [completion] of legal formalities”. The petition was subsequently disposed of.

Earlier this year, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had suspended the operation of an order passed by a sessions court to the Naseerabad police to register a case against Babar Azam on Mukhtar’s complaint.

Babar’s counsel, Barrister Haris Azmat, told Dawn.com that they would also challenge the latest order in the LHC.

Newspaper: Dawn , The Nation

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