Lahore, 2nd October: Asif Iqbal Chaudhry, Assistant Director of Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) Cybercrime has been suspended from his service over his social media post.
According to reports of Baaghi TV, Assistant director Asif Iqbal has been suspended on Thursday from the service.
Reportedly, Asif Iqbal Chaudhry registered an FIR against singer Meesha Shafi and eight others for their alleged involvement in a smear campaign against singer-actor Ali Zafar.
According to Dawn News, the order issued by Director FIA (Cyber Crime Wing) Amir Farooqi said that the services of Assistant Director/Senior Investigator (BPS-17) Muhammad Asif Iqbal at Cyber Crime Reporting Center Lahore as per the second-order is immediately suspended.
According to sources, Mohammad Asif Iqbal was suspended on the basis of a tweet he sent to explain Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PICA) 2016 in the case involving Meesha Shafi and others.
However, the suspended officer did not comment, nor did he give his opinion, but only tweeted the law and explained the punishments involved.
Preparation and dissemination of information about Interfaith, Sectarian or Racial Hatred on social Media is a crime U/s 11 of Cybercrime Act.
سوشل میڈیاپر مذہبی انتہاپسندی اورنفرت انگیز مواد پھیلانا سائبر کرائم ایکٹ کےسیکشن 11 کے تحت جرم ہے جسکی سزا7 سال قید ہے۔
— Asif Iqbal Chaudhry (@AsifIqbalccw) September 30, 2020
It may be recalled that on September 28, under Section (1) 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PICA) 2016 and R / W 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, singer Meesha Shafi, actress and host Iffat Omar, Leena Ghani, Fareeha Ayub, Maham Javed, Ali Gul, Hazimul Zaman Khan, Hamna Raza and Syed Faizan Raza.
In this regard, Asif Iqbal tweeted that anyone who spreads false information in public which harms the reputation of a person is committing a crime under Section 20 of the Cyber Crimes Act. I was told in Urdu that the law provides for 3 years imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 1 million or both for a person involved in damaging the reputation of another person by spreading fake news through social media.
Whoever publicly exhibits false information that harms the reputation of a person, is a crime U/S 20 of Cybercrime Act.
اگر سوشل میڈیا پرکسی شخص کےبارے Fake News غلط خبرکی تشہیر کی جائے جس سے اسکی بدنامی ہو، جرم ہے جسکی سزا 3 سال قید یا 10لاکھ روپے جرمانہ یا دونوں ہیں۔
— Asif Iqbal Chaudhry (@AsifIqbalccw) September 29, 2020
Sources said that a minister’s daughter had accused Asif Iqbal of being Ali Zafar’s spokesperson on social media and campaigned against him.
Sources said that “some influential people” in Islamabad played a role in the suspension of the FIA officer. There was pressure to file an FIR against him.
Asif Iqbal has been very active on social media as he has been raising awareness about cybercrime-related crimes and laws.
A senior official in Islamabad told Dawn that being active on social media is the main reason for the officer’s suspension. Like other government employees, FIA officials have been instructed not to comment on social media, he said.
It may be recalled that in November 2018, Ali Zafar had lodged a complaint with the FIA Cyber Crime Wing in which he alleged that several social media accounts were posting ‘insulting and threatening material’ against him.
Ali Zafar had alleged that in April 2018, weeks before Meesha Shafi’s sexual harassment allegations, several fake accounts had launched a vicious campaign against the singer. The singer and actor had said that most of the fake accounts were alleged. The FIR states that Meesha Shafi had failed to produce any witnesses in support of her (sexual harassment) allegation against Ali Zafar.
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