LAHORE: An Anti Terrorism Court sentenced a man to 24 years imprisonment and imposed 0.7 million rupees fine after he was found guilty of harassing the lady doctors.
According to Dawn News, the convict named Abdul Wahab was convicted under Anti Terrorism Act, ATA, Section 7 (1)(h), Section 419 of Pakistan Penal Code, PPC, and section 25-D of Telegraph act respectively. He was awarded 14 years imprisonment and Rs. 0.5 million fine under ATA, seven years imprisonment and Rs. 0.1 million fine under PPC and three years imprisonment and Rs. 0.1 million fine under Telegraph act respectively.
The convict was awarded the rigorous punishment by Judge Sajjad Ahmad and would serve his sentence in Kot Lakhtpat Jail. During the trial, 31 witnesses recorded their statements.
The case surfaced for the first time in 2015 when Abdul Wahab was arrested on charges of harassing and blackmailing the lady doctors. Most of the victims were house officers and postgraduate trainees from King Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University and Children Hospital, Lahore
As reported in Dawn, the convict used to introduce himself as military official to the lady doctors. He also allegedly hacked the Whatsapp accounts, used to blackmail them through objectionable media content and extorted money.
Digital Rights advocate and Co-Founder Bolo Bhi Farieha Aziz expressed apprehension over this case in her tweet. She noted: How does the ATC have juridsiction in a case of this nature & how does it constitute an offence under the ATA (& should it) the question. That ATA sections are routinely added to FIRs & cases proceed before ATC we know happens in practice. But should it?”
She further added: “There’s a tendency to pick and choose sections of the law/laws that carry a higher punishment, more punitive/serious in nature. Seems to be the case here too. Happens also where civil remedies exist but criminal provisions applied. ETO could have been used but they didn’t use it.”