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LHC stops FIA from registering case against Babar Azam

Pakistani cricketer has been accused of harrasment and blackmail

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Mar 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Photo: AFP/file

The Federal Investigation Agency has been stopped from registering an online harassment case against Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam.

The Lahore High Court suspended on Monday the May 18 orders of a sessions court. The lower court had directed the FIA to file an FIR against Azam on Hamiza Mukhtar’s complaint. 

The cricketer had argued that the order was issued without hearing him which is a violation of his basic fundamental rights. The petition was filed on March 20.

Related: Babar Azam harassment case: Police told to record Hamiza’s statement

Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural took up the petition and provided relief to Azam.

Blackmail and online harassment

Mukhtar had approached the FIA over alleged harassment by Azam through WhatsApp and other social media platform.

The FIA Cybercrime Wing submitted its report to the sessions court. It said the complainant was issued a notice and she appeared before the investigators and recorded her statement.

Notices were sent to the owners of the three mobile phone numbers from which Mukhtar received indecent messages, according to the report. One of those numbers belongs to Babar Azam, while the other two are registered under the names of Maryam Ahmed and Saleema Bibi.

All three were asked to appear before the agency to record their statements.

Babar Azam’s brother, Faisal, appeared on his behalf and asked for more time. The cricketer has yet to appear before the investigators, the report said.

Saleema Bibi did not record her statement despite receiving the notice, while Maryam Ahmed said she didn’t know the complainant. Maryam Ahmed was asked to submit her mobile phone for a forensic audit but she has not submitted it yet, according to the FIA.

Babar Azam harassment case

Mukhtar has accused Azam of cheating and later betraying her. She approached courts after the Lahore CCPO failed to register her complaint against Azam.

She said she became friends with Azam while they were studying at Ali Education System, adding that they had illicit relations as he promised to marry her. After Azam was selected in the national team, he refused to marry her, according to Mukhtar.

Azam’s counsel argued that Mukhtar had levelled similar accusations against his client earlier. Later on, she submitted a compromise affidavit to the police.

Related: Court to hear Babar Azam harassment case after PSL6

On January 14, Additional Sessions Judge Nauman Muhammad Naeem ordered the police to record the statement of Hamiza Mukhtar under section 154 Code of Criminal Procedure. She accused Azam of fraud and sexual harassment.

Judge Naeem noted, in his order, that serious allegations of abortion and deceitful intercourse on false assurance of marriage were levelled against Azam. “From bare readings of the application of petitioner, prima facie, omission of cognisable offence is made out,” the order read.

Azam’s legal team approached the Lahore High Court against the sessions court’s order. On March 3, the high court heard the appeal and deferred the hearing for a month because of the Pakistan Super League’s 6th edition.

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