On Thursday, a judicial magistrate formally charged Dania Shah, the widow of the deceased politician and television host Aamir Liaquat Hussain, with the crime of sharing inappropriate videos of her late husband online. The suspect, Dania Shah, was presented in court by the authorities and was read the charges by Judicial Magistrate (East) Mukesh Kumar. Despite the charges, Dania Shah pleaded not guilty and decided to fight the case in court.
The judge in the case summoned prosecution witnesses to give testimony against Dania Shah on February 2nd and adjourned the hearing until then. Dania Shah was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency at her home in Lodhran on December 15th and brought to Karachi. The judge found that Dania Shah, without the authorization of Aamir Liaquat, secretly recorded and obtained sexually explicit images and videos of him and then transmitted them through various social media platforms, committing an offence punishable under section 16(1) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act of 2016.
The judge ruled that the accused also made threats with serious consequences through YouTube programs, causing harm to Mr. Hussain’s privacy and dignity and criminally intimidating him, violating the offense of violating a person’s dignity and privacy under section 20 (1). Additionally, the accused publicly displayed and transmitted Mr. Hussain’s sexually explicit images and videos through multiple Social Media platforms with the intent to harm his reputation, blackmail him, and take revenge, committing offenses punishable under sections 21 (1) (b) (c) (d).
The judge ruled that with the intention to intimidate, coerce, and harass the complainant, his father, and their entire family, the accused disseminated sexually explicit images and videos without the victim’s consent, causing harm. This constituted cyberstalking, punishable under section 24 (2) (d) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.
Last month, the same court rejected an application for post-arrest bail, stating that the investigation was still in its early stages and no report had been filed under Section 173 of the criminal procedure code.
The judge noted that while no explicit videos of the late lawmaker were found in the possession of the suspect, the prosecutor claimed that the suspect had deleted all such videos from her devices. The evidence collected so far apparently links the suspect to the commission of the crime, the judge stated.
Furthermore, the judge observed that the suspect had prima facie violated the victim’s fundamental rights to dignity, privacy, and modesty, which are inalienable rights of every person. As argued by the complainant’s counsel, the release of the late Liaquat’s personal videos in the public sphere was a major contributor to his death.
The daughter of the late TV anchor, Dua Aamir, filed an FIR against Dania Shah under sections 20 (malicious code), 21 (cyberstalking), and 24 (legal recognition of offenses related to information systems) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.