KARACHI: A judge has sentenced a man to 22 months in prison for fraudulently receiving and sharing inappropriate images of a teenage student on social media in order to blackmail her and force her into a friendship.
Abdul Khalique was found guilty in Gulistan-i-Jauhar in March of extorting the 9th grader and demanding her 200,000 rupees.
Magistrate (East) Mukesh Kumar Talreja issued his sentence cautiously after taking evidence and concluding arguments from both sides.
He also fined Rs. 20,000 for committing the offense of internet spamming, which is punishable under Section 22(1)(b)(C) and (d) of the Electronic Crime Prevention Act 2016.
The judge also ordered the convict to pay the victim Rs 100,000 in damages. Failure to do so would result in the convict serving an additional 60-day prison sentence.
The judge ruled that the identity of the victim/complainant and her family members had been protected under Section 16(2) of the Sindh Witness Protection Act 2014 to protect them from social harm.
During the trial, the victim claimed to have developed a friendship with the accused. She shared her pictures and spoke to him via video call. The defendants intentionally took/clicked images and videos from the video calls.
The investigating officer claimed that he had taken the statement of the victim’s aunt, who also supported the applicant’s allegations.
The cybercrime cell later arrested the accused and confiscated his mobile phone and a SIM card.
Forensic experts recovered sexually explicit images of the complaint, and further forensic analysis also revealed that the same offensive images were shared on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram under a fake identity.
Prosecutor Shiraz Rajpar claimed that the prosecutor’s office had successfully resolved her case without a doubt.
Defense attorney Munawer Dahri argued that there were significant inconsistencies in the prosecution’s story and that the defendant was misrepresented in this case.
One case was registered with the Cybercrime Reporting Office under sections 20 (malicious code), 21 (cyber-stalking), 22 (spamming) and 24 (statutory recognition of criminal offenses relating to information systems) of the Electronic Crime Prevention Act 2016 Center in Karachi.
Published in Dawn, September 24, 2022