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Tweeting in a trend does not constitute a crime unless the words are very offensive, says IHC Judge

IHC Judge Babar Sattar stated this while dismissing a case filed against a citizen for tweeting in a controversial trend on Twitter.

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court Judge Babar Sattar said that posting a tweet in any ongoing trend does not constitute a crime unless the words of the tweet are offensive under a penal statute.

IHC Judge Babar Sattar stated this on Saturday while dismissing a case filed against a citizen for tweeting in a controversial trend on Twitter.

Justice Babar Sattar accepted the petition of a citizen against FIA over tweeting against state institutions.

In his judgement, IHC Judge remarked, “tweeting in relation to any trend cannot itself attract criminal liability unless the words used in the tweet constitute as offensive under a penal statute.”

“The words in the tweet in question attracted no criminal liability,” he ruled.

The Tweet in question was about the fear of black Vigos and enforced disappearances and its related trends.

IHC Judge noted that the court cannot act unless there was something wrong in the words used by a social media user. The court observed that the purpose of registering an FIR against the citizen was to impose illegal censorship on the freedom of expression of a citizen.

Justice Babar Sattar said that FIA has made the state a joke by registering an FIR in this case.

IHC Judge dismissed the case saying, FIA’s move is a tragedy.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.


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