June 9, 2020 — Senior journalist Hamid Mir has registered a complaint against the Information Minister of Punjab, Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, on account of disrespecting and leveling false allegations on Mir’s late father on YouTube.
According to the complaint submitted to the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA), Mir was invited on a talk show “Breaking Point with Maalik” hosted by Muhammad Maalik, on May 22, 2020. Mir’s complaint states that Chohan in a video on Youtube “imputed very derogatory, false, libelous, misleading and baseless allegations” to the deceased father of the applicant. The comments were made in response to a commentary that Mir did on the talk show regarding the Commission report on Sugar Scandal.
The complaint has been filed under section 20: Offences against dignity of a natural person, of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016, and states that the defamatory and misleading allegations by Chohan were made to harm the reputation of Mir’s family and his late father Professor Waris Mir.
The document also mentioned that these remarks were intentionally made by Chohan and intended to harm the reputation of the family, an act which is a cognisable offence under PECA 2016.
Section 20 of the PECA 2016 underlines the punishment of a jail term for up to three years, and/or fine of one million rupees.
The prayer of the complainant is to register the case against the Information Minister in the interest of justice and upholding the rule of law.
Hija is a Programs Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. She combines her experience in digital rights in Pakistan to lead digital rights and internet governance advocacy of MMfD. She tweets at @hijakamran