October 15th, 2020
Islamabad High Court (IHC) has reprimanded the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over misuse of powers under the cybercrime law during the hearing of a journalist’s petition against the agency’s raid on his house.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked why FIA had issued a vague notice to local journalist Rana Arshad without a date and purpose for the summon. “Do you realize the repercussions of a raid? The neighbors see it and think about why it is happening. You are making an individual a criminal,” the court remarked. An FIA official said investigations were launched on directions of a deputy director, and they visited the house to verify the address.
Speaking to Voicepk.net, Rana Arshad said the FIA told the court that a senior woman journalist had complained to the agency, and investigation of the complaint led to a cell phone number of Rana Arshad. The woman had not mentioned Rana Arshad in her application. But Rana Arshad said that the FIA did not mention the complaint when they first called him in September. Arshad said the FIA also claimed that the house address and the phone number was used to create two fake Facebook accounts. Arshad
During the hearing, Chief Justice Minallah remarked that the agency must take action on a complaint but it was inappropriate for an officer to raid a house in such a manner. The court directed the FIA circle in-charge to submit a detailed report in the case. The court ordered FIA to include the petitioner in the probe and adjourned the hearing for 10 days.