Mehwish Hayat Takes Defamation Action Against Adil Raja

Hayat expressed her happiness over the petition's filing and the promise that anyone who engages in online trolling will be held responsible.

On Wednesday, actor Mehwish Hayat petitioned the Sindh High Court to take action towards YouTuber Adil Raja for posting derogatory films. The star had first asked the FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing to check into the situation, but after hearing nothing more, she turned to SHC for assistance. She posted on Instagram later that day that she has gone to trial because she “would not stand for these horrible smear tactics any longer.”

The happenings of the last several days have reached a new low, Hayat wrote on Twitter and Instagram.  “This has been going on for some time – but the events of the last few days have hit a new low. Criticise my work all you like, but no one has the right to defame my character. I am not the one to sit and let anyone use me as a pawn in their dirty political games!”

The Ms Marvel star declared in her letter that she won’t stop working until this issue is remedied. Hayat expressed her happiness over the petition’s filing and the promise that those responsible, “including all the bullies who are propagating poisonous lies,” would be held responsible.

“It is such a shame that I’ve had to go to court to protect my dignity and reputation – is this what we have become? I would like to thank all those from the industry, family, friends and above all fans who have sent me messages of support. They have provided me with strength in what has been a trying time, “ Mehwish Hayat wrote.

“More power to you, Mehwish,” wrote actor Osman Khalid Butt in response to her tweet. He added, “standing in solidarity,” under her post. Ali Gul Pir, a comedian, also commented, “Go get ’em!”

Hayat is “upset by a social media storm generated and precipitating due to certain videos made by an individual by the name Adil Farooq Raja who claims to be a self-professed “geopolitical analyst” and “rights activist” and who maintains a YouTube channel by the name of Soldier Speaks as well as a Twitter handle by the name Soldier Speaks,” according to the petition submitted to the SHC on Wednesday.

Mehwish Hayat referred to Raja’s accusations as “blatantly false, disparaging, defamatory, harmful, incendiary, dangerous [and] sensationalising,” and claimed that they “degrade[d]” the four actors he mentioned in his video by alleging that they were used by intelligence agencies and the establishment to entice politicians into suggestive poses at safe houses retained by such agencies where clips of such actresses were made.

Hayat has filed a petition with the court under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, Sections 11 (hate speech), 20 (offences against a natural person’s dignity), 21, and 37 (unlawful online content).

The SHC gave the FIA and PTA two-week notifications about the defamation complaint and ordered them to erase the content that disparages Hayat.

The appeal by Mehwish Hayat comes almost a week after star Kubra Khan asked the SHC to take action against online defamatory material against her. Khan filed a lawsuit in response to the YouTuber’s “derogatory, defamatory, malicious, inflammatory, hazardous, and sensationalising charges” that she and three other actors were the targets of on social media websites.

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