IHC suspends FIA notice to summon journalist

ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday suspended a notice issued by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to summon journalist Asad Toor but it directed the Agency to hold inquiry against him for allegedly maligning an anchorperson Shiffa Yousafzai. 
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition filed by Toor against the summons of FIA against him and suspended the same. 
The bench directed the investigation officer of the FIA to apprise the court whether the complaint against Toor fulfilled the prerequisites of the prescribed procedure. 
Later, the court deferred the proceedings in this matter till June 20. However, the court directed the FIA in Shiffa’s matter to complete its inquiry till June 30. 
After the hearing, Shiffa told the journalists that she is fighting a case for the women of Pakistan to come out of their homes and work in different organizations. She said that nobody has the right to question the character of a woman. 
In March this year, Yousafzai had filed an application against Toor for harassment and intimidation of a working woman, with the Cybercrime Wing of the FIA. After almost one month, Toor received a notice from the FIA but instead of appearing before FIA to explain his position, he landed in High Court on the grand plea that “the state of Pakistan is after him.” 
Earlier, the FIA had issued a summons on Monday to journalist Asad Ali Toor to appear before it and record his statement in an inquiry regarding “defamation” of a government institution through social media. 
The notice titled ‘Order for attendance under Section 160 CrPC for recording of statement’ was sent to Toor’s Islamabad residence by the FIA Cyber Crime Reporting Centre in Rawalpindi. It said that the FIA Cyber Crime Rawalpindi was conducting an inquiry regarding “defamation of institution of Government of Pakistan through social media” on the complaint of Fayyaz Mehmood Raja. 
It stated, “The available facts suggest that you are well aware of the facts/circumstances of said inquiry.” It further said, “Therefore, you are directed to appear before the undersign[ed]” at FIA police station, Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, Rawalpindi on June 4, 2021, at 11am “to answer such question[s] as put forth to you.” 
The notice said that the criminal proceedings could be initiated against the journalist in case of non-compliance.

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