PTA told to initiate action against social media activists over scandalous remarks against Dua’s family

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Aug 02, 2022

The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to initiate legal action against six social media activists strictly in accordance with the law over Dua Zahra’s father allegations over the airing of malicious and scandalous statement against his family.

The court also restrained six social media activists from making or airing any malicious, defamatory and scandalous content, including digital videos and written material against the father Zahra and his family on social media.

The interim order came on a lawsuit filed by Syed Mehdi Ali Kazmi, who sought a court injunction against some social media activists for making scandalous statements against him and his family over social media.

The plaintiff’s counsel said the plaintiff had lodged an FIR against the kidnapping and child marriage of his daughter under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Rules. He submitted that the medical board constituted under the court’s order also established that the age of his daughter was between 15 and 16 years.

He said the PTA was approached to block and remove private channels from social media issuing scandalous and malicious content against the plaintiff and his family. He noted that the PTA’s web analysis division had said that facts of the complaints required a detailed assessment of evidences by a competent court in order to establish the correct position; therefore, the complaint was not entertainable under Rule (I) (v) under the removal and blocking of unlawful online content (procedure, oversight and safeguards) rules 2021.

The counsel argued that all the content made by the defendants were based on defamatory, baseless and scandalous material against the plaintiff and his entire family, thereby damaging the respect and honour of the plaintiff in the society. He said the plaintiff and his family members were being ridiculed by the defendants through social media platform.

A single bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, after the preliminary hearing of the plaint, issued notices to the PTA and social media activists, and in the meantime restrained them from airing, publishing or sharing any defamatory and scandalous content material against plaintiff and his family.

The court also directed PTA to initiate legal proceedings against social media activists in accordance with the law and submit a comprehensive report within 15 days.