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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Thursday, barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from taking any adverse action against Arshad Sulehri, a journalist, till October 12th. A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition of Sulehri, who moved the court through his counsel Muhammad Sajid Khan Tanoli.

The bench also issued notices to the FIA against the alleged harassment of Sulehri by the Cyber Crime Wing. The IHC bench directed the office to issue notices to the respondents, the FIA and its Cyber Crime Wing. "The officer who has been entrusted inquiry of the case is directed to appear on the next date fixed and explain under what authority of law the undated notice was issued followed by raiding the house of the petitioner as has been alleged," said the court order.

The chief justice noted, "The officer shall also explain why the alleged commission and omission on part of the petitioner were not disclosed in the undated notice."

In the petition, Sulehri alleged that the FIA and its Cyber Crime Wing were harassing him for the past few days.

He contended that the petitioner was a physically-challenged person, and was engaged in the profession of journalism. The petitioner asserted that because of opinions and views expressed by the petitioner on the social media, he was being harassed by the respondents.

His counsel mentioned an undated notice issued by the respondent, and stated that a plain reading of the notice made it obvious that the purported proceedings were based on mala fide intent. The petitioner also alleged that he was summoned, and later his house was raided.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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