A judicial magistrate summoned singer Meesha Shafi, issued arrest warrants of two others, and turned down requests for personal appearance to four suspects in a criminal case registered under cybercrime law by actor-cum-singer Ali Zafar.
Actress Iffat Omar, Fariha Ayub, Leena Ghani, Haseemur Zaman, and Faizan Raza had filed the applications seeking exemption from personal appearance. They took the plea that they were permanent residents of Karachi and it was not possible for them to appear before the court on each and every hearing.
Iffat Omar sought a one-time exemption due to some personal exigency in Karachi.
All the suspects had failed to attend the hearing before the court on Wednesday.
The magistrate rejected the applications for a permanent exemption.
The magistrate also issued bailable arrest warrants of Iffat Omar and non-bailable arrest warrants of Ali Gul Pir, who remained unrepresented, for October 6.
The magistrate summoned Ms. Shafi and Maham Javed through summons for the next date of hearing. The magistrate observed that a revisional court suspended the orders to the extent of submission of surety bonds of the two woman suspects.
The magistrate ordered that keeping in view the above, absent accused ladies be summoned through summons.
The FIA had lodged the FIR under section 20 of the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act and section 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code against nine persons allegedly for running a smear campaign against Ali Zafar on social media.
The FIA report stated that the investigation established that all the suspects including Meesha Shafi posted serious/direct allegations and defamatory /derogatory content on social media against the complainant.