Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered an FIR against Meesha Shafi, Iffat Omar, and seven other individuals for running a defamatory campaign against Ali Zafar. Other than Meesha and Iffat, the names of the suspects include Leena Ghani, Fareeha Ayub, Haseem uz Zaman, Humna Raza, Maham Javaid, Ali Gul, and Syed Faizan Raza. Reports suggest that after investigating the case for more than two years, FIA’s cybercrime wing, under section 20 (1) of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and R/W 109-PPC, registered an FIR against the said individuals.
The section states that intentionally transmitting false information in the public to harm the privacy and reputation of a natural person is liable to be punished with a jail term of three years. The FIR filed against the aforementioned suspects says that they were summoned multiple times by the FIA cybercrime wing to present their defense, but they failed to do so, hence the agency processed towards making a case against them.
According to the FIR registered on April 19, 2018, Meesha had accused Ali of sexual harassment on Twitter. Then in November 2018, Ali filed a complaint to the FIA cybercrime wing, stating that all the allegations made against him were planned by Meesha, her lawyer, and her friend. Meanwhile, several fake social media accounts, all of which were allegedly connected to Meesha, were created just to run a #MeToo campaign against him, added Ali.
The fake accounts
Ali told the agency that of all the fake accounts created to smear his name, @nehasaigol1 was the most prominent one. It was created 50 days before Meesha accused him of sexual harassment. He told the agency that the account had posted 3,000 defamatory tweets against the actor and his family. It should be noted here that the first six accounts that started following @nehasaigol1 belonged to Meesha’s lawyer Nighat Dad, her mother Saba Hameed, her aunt Bushra Hameed, her friend Leena Ghani and Haseem uz Zaman, one of the individuals the FIA has filed the FIR against.
Meesha and the individuals FIA has filed a case against were summoned by the agency in December 2019 where Meesha showed up with her team of lawyers. However, she was not able to produce any witness that helped the case in her favor. Leena Ghani, Humna Raza, and comedian Ali Gul Pir, instead of appearing before the FIA, sent written statements. The agency did not find either of their statements satisfactory. Fariha Ayub, Haseemuz Zaman, and Maham Javaid did not appear before the agency, despite being summoned four times. Iffat Omar appeared before the agency but did not record any statements. Syed Faizan Raza recorded his statement, but his statement was also found unsatisfactory.