Petition filed in IHC against Facebook, Fixed on Monday 27th February.

ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )

Salman Shahid filed petition through Muhammad Tariq Asad Advocate in the Islamabad High Court for uttering insulting words and  issuing contemptuous and blasphemous videos about Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as Allah Almighty.

Petition has been fixed before Mr. Justice Shaukat Azeez Siddiqui on Monday, 27-02-2017.

The petitioner prayed that this Court may very graciously be pleased to direct the respondents Federation through Secretary, Ministry of Interior Islamabad Ministry of Information and Technology through its Secretary, Islamabad Federal Investigation Authority through its Director General Pakistan Telecommunication Authority through its Chairman to block the pages in the social media, namely ‘bhansa’, ‘Machar’ and others similar pages and IDs containing the blasphemous words, sketches and videos against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as God Almighty;

restrain respondent No. 1 from putting undue influence upon respondent No. 3 to inquire  and investigate by the aid of NRCCC as to who are the actual culprits committing blasphemy and initiate proceedings against them in this regard in accordance with law;

Here is full text of petition;

BEFORE ISLAMABAD HIGH COURT, ISLAMABAD

                              W.P. No. ______/2017

 

Salman Shahid s/o Shahid Naveed r/o

H.No.96, St. No. 40, I-8/2, Islamabad        ……..Petitioner

VERSUS

  1. Federation through Secretary, Ministry

of Interior Islamabad;

  1. Ministry of Information and Technology

through its Secretary, Islamabad;

  1. Federal Investigation Authority through its

Director General;

  1. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

through its Chairman                       ……….Respondents

 

WRIT PETION UNDER ARTICLE 199 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN, 1973.

 

Respectfully Sheweth:

  1. That the Petitioner is an Advocate High Court and is a loyal citizen of Pakistan and is thus entitled to file this Petition under Article 199 of the Constitution to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens particularly Articles 9, 14 and 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973.
  2. That five persons, namely Salman Haider, Ahmed Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Ahmed Raza Naseer and Samar Abbas had been hosting Facebook pages with inflammatory and blasphemous material against the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), and his companions with the titles Bhansa, Mochi and Roshni. They also drew sketch of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh), and uttered blasphemous things about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as Allah Almighty. Some of the utterances on video are reproduced below:

Copies of some of the materials are annexed herewith as ‘A’.

  1. That the petitioner submitted an application /complaint with the FIA Station in Iqbal Town/respondent No.3 on 01-02-2017 to conduct enquiry with the assistance of NRCCC and register case against the above named bloggers under Section 295-C PPC and the provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act for spreading blasphemous content on social media.

Copy of complaint is annexed herewith as Annex. ‘B’.

  1. That FIA Deputy Director, namely Noman Asharaf who was already aware of the allegations stated in the petitioner’s applications entertained his complaint and assured that after taking the legal opinion from the legal branch regarding invoking 295-C of PPC and other laws of the land against the bloggers, he would register case against the accused in accordance with law.
  2. That it was revealed in the press that FIA Deputy Director Noman Ashraf Bodla directed the investigation officer to call Salman Haider to FIA office and engage him in the investigation. It was also reported that the FIA has also barred the professor from flying abroad until the conclusion of the case in view of the aforesaid application/complaint. Judicial Magistrate Abdul Ghafoor Kakar granted formal permission for lodging the case and initiation of the investigation against five bloggers, including Salman Haider.
  3. That the story behind the scene is that the accused above named had gone missing from Islamabad and Punjab in the first week of January. But later all of them had returned their homes.
  4. That while the FIA was proceeding in accordance with law on 1st February, 2017 a news burst up on the electronic media on the same day and in the print media on the next day i.e. 02-02-2017 that serious action has been taken against the officers who were proceeding in accordance with law on a complaint. The news item as published in a daily newspaper, namely ‘The Nation’ as published is reproduced hereunder:

“While the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) apparently looked in a hurry to proceed against five social media activists, who went missing last month, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has sprung into action and slammed the agency’s action. The minister has taken serious notice of the matter and questioned FIA as to why it was showing unnecessary activism to take action against the bloggers, a spokesman of interior ministry said while quoting the minister. The minister took the notice after some media reports that FIA had booked all these social media activists on blasphemy charges.

“How is it possible that FIA has taken action without investigation and probe,” the minister questioned. “The families of the bloggers went through a difficult time but who gave FIA the authority to add to their misery?” the minister further said.

However, a senior officer of FIA denied the media reports that the agency had registered a case against the bloggers. The media reports suggested that FIA had registered the case on the application of Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmed, a spokesman of Shohada Foundation of Pakistan.

Al least, five social media activists, including Dr Salman Haider, Ahmed Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Ahmed Raza Naseer and Samar Abbas had gone missing from Islamabad and Punjab in the first week of January. However, all of them have returned except Samar Abbas and two of them have proceeded abroad.

Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmed while talking to The Nation said that he had filed an application before Director FIA Islamabad Mazhar Kakakhel for registration of a case against the five bloggers for allegedly spreading religious hatred and insulting state institutions on social media. He said that the case was marked to Deputy Director FIA Noman Bodala who the other day in his presence asked the investigation officer to summon Dr Salman Haider and also get court orders to initiate inquiry against all of them. “FIA have informed me that the agency could not book any person on blasphemy charges rather it would take action against them under the cyber crime law,” he said. Fazal mabood

Meanwhile, the Shohada Foundation issued a statement that showed its concerns over the action of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan over the matter. The statement claimed that the minister was becoming hurdle to proceed against those persons who were insulting the state institutions and the religion on social media. The foundation threatened that it would start a movement if the minister did not stop on creating hurdles in the investigation process of FIA and if bloggers were allowed to go abroad”.

Earlier, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on January 20 had also taken a serious notice of the media reports regarding registration of criminal cases on blasphemy charges against the five missing bloggers and social media activists in an Islamabad police station. Denying initiation of any criminal proceedings against the social media activists in this connection, the minister had said there was no truth about the registration of cases against them”.

Copy of the newspaper clipping is annexed hereto as Annex. ‘C’

  1. That from the print media it was later revealed that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) slammed reports on   01-02-2017 of logging a case against Salman Haider and other activists for allegedly committing blasphemy on social media. The agency clarified that they had received an application but no case had been logged yet. Whereas earlier, it was reported that FIA had lodged a case against Salman Haider and other activists for allegedly committing blasphemy on social media. It was also reported that earlier, an application for registering a blasphemy case against the four missing activists under section 295-C was also filed in federal capital’s I-9 police station, but FIR had not been registered against the accused.
  2. That all the religious circles had protested and raised their voices to register FIR against those who were found responsible in the abovementioned matter. JUI Chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and many renowned religious scholars also demanded categorically to register FIR against the accused, but due to the pressure of respondent No. 1, the authorities refused to register FIR against the accused.
  3. That meanwhile an anchor, namely Amir Liaqat conducted programmes on television channel ‘Bol News’ against those who had committed blasphamous act/offence and also against those who had supported those culprits. As a result of which the Chairman PEMRA closed the ‘BOL News’ television channel and imposed restriction on Amir Liaqat to host any television programme on any channel on the ground that he had conducted programmes of hate speech.
  4. That by the undue influence of respondent No.1/ Ministry of Interior, the culprits became more encouraged and hostile and consequently they along with their other counterparts are continuing writing impious utterances about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as God Almighty and are issuing sacrilegious videos in the social media. One, indicating his name on facebook as Tayyab Sardar is openly floating sacrilegious videos which may not be determined by ordinary means as to who actually that person is and on whose behest he is committing blasphemy on facebook. Such enquiry may be conducted by NICCC with the coordination of other respondents.
  5. That it is inconceivable to understand as to why those who were and are continuing to utter insulting words and issuing contemptuous and blasphemous videos about Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as God Almighty committing blasphemy under law of the land and shariah have been protected by the public functionaries on the one hand those who were condemning the culprits have been penalized by PEMRA /the Federal Government, on the other, meaning thereby that the Federal Government particularly the respondent No. 1 and the Chairman PEMRA are also party in the sacrilegious acts done against Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) on social media.
  6. That the feelings of the Muslim Umma are being hurt and in case serious notice is not taken against the culprits imminently, the people may be provoked and may start a movement throughout the country as there is a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) in this context reproduced below:

“No one may be true Muslim unless he believes Me the               dearest than his parents, children and everyone else”.

Thus it is the faith of the Muslims as per this Hadith e mubarka

that whoever commits blasphemy is liable for the punishment of

death sentence. Law of the land, too, is the same under Section

295-C of PPC.

  1. That the blasphemous material in the form of writings, sketches and videos are being floated on the facebook continuously against the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as God Almighty, but the respondents No. 2 and 3 are taking no notice of it to block that nor any action is being taken by the respondent No. 3 due to the influence of respondent No. 1, it is therefore expedient to pass orders by this Hon. Court to all the respondents in this regard accordingly as per law.
  2. That the respondent No. 1 has restrained the FIA authorities not to proceed against the culprits who are continuously committing blasphemy. Since the matter needs conducting enquiry/investigation through National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes, the wing of FIA with the coordination of other respondents, hence there is no efficacious /adequate remedy available to the petitioner except to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 199 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

 

In the circumstances mentioned hereinabove, it is,

therefore, respectfully prayed that this Hon. Court may

very graciously be pleased to:

  1. direct the respondents No. 2, 3 and 4 to block the pages in the social media, namely ‘bhansa’, ‘Machar’ and others similar pages and IDs containing the blasphemous words, sketches and videos against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Suhab-e-Kram, wives (Azwaje Mutaharat) and Sacred book of Qurane Pak as well as God Almighty;
  2. restrain respondent No. 1 from putting undue influence upon respondent No. 3 to inquire and investigate by the aid of NRCCC as to who are the actual culprits committing blasphemy and initiate proceedings against them in this regard in accordance with law;
  • Any other relief this Court deems just be also granted in the interest of justice and law of the land.

 

Petitioner

Through

 

M Tariq Asad

Advocate Supreme Court

 

 

Kalsoom Akhtar

Advocate High Court

Certificate:

It is certified that this is the first petition on this subject matter and no petition has been filed in the High Court or Supreme Court.

 

Petitioner

BEFORE ISLAMABAD HIGH COURT, ISLAMABAD

                              W.P. No. ______/2017

 

Salman Shahid s/o Shahid Naveed r/o

H.No.96, St. No. 40, I-8/2, Islamabad        ……..Petitioner

VERSUS

Federation through Secretary, Ministry

of Interior Islamabad and others          …….Respondents

APPLICATION FOR INTERIM RELIEF UNDER O. 39 R. 1 & 2 R/W SECTION 151 CPC

 Respectfully sheweth:

That the petitioner has filed the accompanying Constitutional Petition the contents which be considered as integral part of this Petition.

That the Applicant/Petitioner has a prima facie case and the balance of convenience is also in his favour.

That the matter is of very urgent nature pertaining to the blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h)

That if the interim relief is not granted, the petitioner and all the Muslim citizens of Pakistan would suffer an irreparable loss.

In the circumstances mentioned herein above, it is, therefore, respectfully prayed that this Hon. Court may very graciously be pleased to direct the respondents to block the pages in the social media, namely ‘bhansa’, ‘Machar’ and others similar pages and IDs containing the blasphemous words, sketches and videos against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) till the final adjudication of the matter.

Petitioner

Through   M Tariq Asad Advocate Supreme Court

 

 

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