IHC Directs FIA to Act Against Those Spreading Justice Babar Sattar’s Personal Data

On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action against individuals identified for spreading the personal data of Justice Babar Sattar on social media. The court’s directive is part of ongoing efforts to address the issue of unauthorized data leaks and online defamation.

The IHC registrar’s office has also reached out to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to assist in identifying accounts involved in a defamatory and malicious campaign against the judge. This move highlights the growing concern over the misuse of social media platforms to spread false information and invade personal privacy.

IHC Directs FIA to Act Against Those Spreading Justice Babar Sattar’s Personal Data

During the hearing, a bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, and Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan reviewed the FIA’s report on the matter. The report was submitted in response to Justice Sattar’s complaint regarding the unauthorized data leaks.

Additional Attorney General Barrister Munawar Iqbal Duggal informed the court that the FIA had formed a three-member team to investigate the case. The team identified five individuals, including two vloggers, Chaudhry Saeed Akhtar and Ihsan Chatta, as part of the investigation. The FIA issued notices to these individuals, but only two responded.

Duggal also mentioned that a journalist based in Karachi, identified with the assistance of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), disassociated himself from the defamatory posts against the judge. The investigation traced 39 accounts in total, but 29 of these accounts were inaccessible. The Nadra software was unable to identify some accounts that were allegedly operated from within Pakistan.

When the bench inquired about the FIA’s engagement with the social networking platform, Barrister Duggal confirmed that the agency had contacted X. However, the social media company suggested that the FIA approach the US embassy for further assistance.

See Also: IHC Demands PM to Identify Those Behind Mass Surveillance in Audio Leaks Case

In a related development, the IHC registrar’s office sent a formal letter to X, seeking information about the accounts involved in disseminating defamatory and false information, as well as personal and private details related to Justice Sattar. The letter emphasized that the false information was discrediting the judge and undermining the integrity and authority of the judiciary.

The letter requested X to provide details about the identity of the account holders, including any available contact information and IP addresses associated with the creation and use of these accounts. Additionally, the IHC sought any other relevant information that could assist in identifying the individuals behind these accounts and confirming whether there was a concerted effort to make the defamatory tweets trend.

The letter also highlighted that if X’s policies prevent the sharing of relevant information, the court would appreciate if the platform could appoint a knowledgeable officer and counsel to appear as amicus to help the court understand X’s policies regarding such investigations and disclosures.

The IHC cited instances where X had assisted British authorities in 2018 in tracing individuals spreading false information and had helped Indian law enforcement track down users responsible for spreading misinformation and inciting violence during civil unrest. The court hopes for a similar level of cooperation in this case to ensure accountability and uphold the integrity of the judiciary.

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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