FIA working on removal of defamatory material online against Mehwish Hayat, Sindh High Court told.

Weeks after actor Mehwish Hayat filed a petition against comments made by YouTuber Adil Raja in the Sindh High Court (SHC), the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) submitted progress reports on the removal of defamatory and objectionable content against her.

On Thursday, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, heard the case. During the hearing, representatives from both authorities were asked if the defamatory content about the actor had been removed. The PTA informed the court that content that it had the ability to remove had been removed. It suggested that the petitioner approach the social media platforms directly for the removal of further content.

The PTA reported that a total number of 65 Twitter and 10 Instagram links were examined, of which only three links have been blocked. Five are protected and private, 18 were found to be free of defamatory content while the remaining 49 are being reviewed by the social media platforms, the court was told.

Investigators informed the court that though an inquiry had been initiated on the court's order, Hayat has not yet filed an online complaint on the FIA's site. It requested that she be directed to do so for further relief.

The court adjourned the hearing till February 24 with the directive that the remaining respondents file their comments. The FIA sub-inspector has been summoned at the next hearing.

What happened

On Jan 11, Hayat took legal action against YouTuber Raja for defamatory content shared online. The actor had initially approached the FIA's Cyber Crime Wing to look into the matter, however, due to lack of progress, she approached the SHC for remedy.

In the petition, she called the allegations levelled by Raja 'blatantly false, derogatory, defamatory, malicious, incendiary, dangerous [and] sensationalising' and said they 'degrad[ed]' the four actors he mentioned in his video, 'causing an affront to their modesty and dignity by alleging that they were used by intelligence...

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