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Magistrate orders release of Bol anchorperson

A local court on Friday (3rd of Feb 2023) discharged an alleged hate speech case against Bol anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan, and ordered his release.

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials produced Imran Riaz Khan before Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk in district court.

The FIA prosecutor submitted that Imran Riaz was involved in publicly making a hate speech at a conference which falls under the territorial jurisdiction of the FIA cyber crime cell.

He submitted that the speech was also shared on social media platforms. He pleaded with the court to grant physical remand of the anchorperson for investigations.

However, Imran Riaz’s counsel Advocate Mian Ashfaq opposed the remand application.

He submitted that the FIA officials had not provided any reasons for physical remand in the application.

He submitted that the case was registered in November 2022 and questioned why the anchorperson was not arrested earlier.

He submitted that the statement given by his client did not fall under the definition of crime. He requested the court to discharge the case against the anchorperson.

The court, after hearing detailed arguments of the parties, reserved its verdict for a short while.

Later, the court announced the reserved verdict and discharged case against the anchorperson and ordered his release.

Imran Riaz had been arrested on Thursday from the Allama Iqbal Airport when he was trying to go to the UAE.

The FIA had reportedly booked Imran Riaz Khan under different sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes 2016 and the Pakistan Penal Code for “hate speech and violence-inducing statement”.