Tweeting in any trend does not constitute a crime, Justice Babar Sattar

IHC dismisses case filed against citizen for tweeting in controversial trend

Merely posting a tweet in any ongoing trend does not constitute a crime unless the words used in the tweet are deemed offensive under a penal statute.

This was ruled by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Babar Sattar as he dismissed a case filed against a citizen for tweeting in a controversial trend on Twitter.

In his verdict, released on Saturday, Justice Babar Sattar accepted the petition of a citizen against the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over tweeting against state institutions.

In his judgement, Justice Sattar observed that “tweeting in relation to any trend cannot itself attract criminal liability unless the words used in the tweet constitute as offensive under a penal statute.”

“The words in the tweet in question attracted no criminal liability,” he ruled.

The FIA, the Ministry of Interior and other investigation and law enforcement agencies were directed to discharge of their lawful duties and obligations in providing security to citizens instead of indulging in such obsequious behavior to carry favor with public officials in high offices.

Noting that the court cannot act unless there is something wrong in the words used by a user, the court held that the purpose of registering an FIR was to impose illegal censorship on the expression of a citizen.

FIA has made the state a joke by registering an FIR in this case, Justice Sattar observed, adding that it only served to strengthen doubts in the minds of the public.

FIA’s move is a tragedy, the court said.

The court dismissed the case against the citizen and any charge sheet.

The Twitter in question had spoken about the fear of black Vigos and enforced disappearances and trends relating to it in their tweet.




islamabad high court

freedom of expression

Free Speech

Article 19

Tabool ads will show in this div