PTI supporter sentenced to 3 year jail over derogatory tweet against Pakistan Army

PTI supporter sentenced to 3 year jail over derogatory tweet against Pakistan Army

FAISALABAD – A district and sessions court in Faisalabad has awarded three –year imprisonment to a supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for running a defamatory campaign against the Pakistan Army’s senior military leadership on Twitter.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested the suspect, identified as Sikandar Zaman, last year after a complaint was lodged against him under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

The Pak Lawyers Forum shared of page of the court’s verdict, stating the convict has been sentenced imprisonment under section 24 (c) of PECA, 2016 and 500 PPC. “Sikandar Zaman is also convicted u/s. SOS PPC and sentenced to three years S.I. with a fine of Rs.50,000/-. In case of default in payment of fine, he shall further undergo S.I. for forty five days,” the court ruled.

All the substantial sentences shall run concurrently as benefit of section 382-8 Cr.P.C. has been extended to the convict. The court has directed the authorities to arrest the convict and put him behind the bars so he could serve his sentence.

According to the first information report (FIR), Zaman shared a tweet against the Pakistan Army “relating to the helicopter incident” last year when six Pakistan Army were martyred Lasbela district in August 2022.

Additional Sessions Judge Munsif Khan, in his verdict, said “From the recovered mobile phone, a number of similar types of saved data were recovered from the memory of the mobile phone during forensic analysis, consisting of 1-29 pages. Although these 29 pages do not contain the alleged comments, it was explained by the technical staff of FIA that a forensic report of mobile phone has been prepared in the light of the scope provided by the IO (Investigating officer) and as per this scope, forensics was to be conducted regarding posts against the army.”

The court said the accused himself “admitted that he is a political worker of PTI”. All the documentary evidence also supports the same. In the given circumstances, it cannot be considered that the accused has no intention and it was a simple comment without mala fide and specific purpose. Electronic crime/social media crime continues for a number of years.

“The accused had tried to create a dispute about the senior leadership of armed forces which naturally has an effect towards the subordinate officials and the general public,” the order said.

“In view of the foregoing reasons and findings, it is held that the prosecution has fully established its case in the light of modern devices,” the judge said in its ruling.

Meanwhile, PTI’s social media focal person Azhar Mashwani has vowed the challenge the verdict in the high court. Hesaid that the party’s Insaf Lawyers Forum was trying to contact the Zaman’s family.