"My family is going through mental agony"
The High Court has ordered the removal of defamatory content about Mehwish Hayat online.
The actress had taken legal action against ex army-officer Adil Raja after he claimed she was involved in a ‘honey trap’ plot.
Mehwish had initially approached the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing to look into the matter.
But due to a lack of progress, Mehwish approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) on January 11, 2023, for immediate action.
As a result, the SHC ordered the FIA to remove the content that maligns Mehwish’s reputation and issued two-week notices to the FIA regarding the defamation case.
A petition was filed in the SHC by Hayat that read:
“Aggrieved by a social media storm generated and precipitated due to certain videos made by an individual by the name of Adil Farooq Raja.
“He claims to be a self-professed ‘geopolitical analyst’ and ‘rights activist’ maintaining a YouTube channel by the name of Soldier Speaks as well as a Twitter handle by the name Soldier Speaks.”
Mehwish Hayat said the allegations alleged by Raja were “blatantly false, derogatory, defamatory, malicious, incendiary, dangerous [and] sensationalising”.
She went on to say that the allegations “degraded” the four actresses he mentioned, “causing an affront to their modesty and dignity by alleging that they were used by intelligence agencies and the establishment to lure politicians into compromising positions at safe houses maintained by such agencies where videos were made of such actresses with such politicians”.
In her petition, Mehwish said that after Adil Raja’s live stream aired, social media users deduced that she was one of the four initials mentioned.
Mehwish Hayat also condemned and named the netizens who amplified the allegations.
The petition read: “Certain social media users intentionally with an interest to malign state institutions and to malign the reputation of the petitioner launched a social media campaign on such a video aired by Mr Raja.
“Despite the clarification contained in the second video, the social media users mentioned in Para 6 above did not abate their campaign.
“The above-mentioned comments made by Mr Raja gave wind to the incendiary campaign being run by the individual social media users mentioned in Para 6.”
The petition is under sections 11 (hate speech), 20 (offences against the dignity of a natural person), 21 (offences against modesty of a natural person and minor) and 37 (unlawful online content) of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.
Outside the court, Mehwish said:
“My family is going through mental agony because of the rumours.”
She hopes that the people who defamed her are held accountable for their actions.