Karachi University Professor sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for harassing a female teacher online

Investigation officers used the details to trace the accused and arrested him from his house.

A professor was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and was also fined over Rs. 1 million by the district court in Karachi for harassing a female teacher online.

According to details, Dr. Farhan Kamrani, an assistant professor at the psychology department of the University of Karachi, was found guilty of impersonating a female colleague and committing an “offense against modesty of a natural person and minor” in October 2016.

Details of the Case

A female teacher lodged a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) alleging that Dr. Farhan Kamrani had posted or shared a link on the page of Greenwich University, containing pornographic pictures created by mixing her pictures and using abusive language. The complaint was lodged under the relevant sections of Peca, 2016, and PPC at the FIA Cyber Crime Circle police station on the 4th of October, 2016.

An Investigation into the matter began shortly after a request was sent to Facebook authorities requesting to share details of a fake ID created in the name of the complainant. Soon the management of the social networking website responded with the required details.

Investigation officers used the details to trace the accused and arrested him from his house. The psychology professor was then interrogated during which he admitted to having created a fake Facebook ID in the name of the complainant, posting her pictures, and making vulgar comments.

Special public prosecutor Zakir Hussain contended that a broadband modem, a computer, and a mobile phone were seized for forensic examination from the house of the accused, and evidence was recovered from these devices.

The case transpired out of hand when Dr. Farhan Kamrani denied the allegations in his statement, recorded under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Although he had accepted his crime during the interrogation, he claimed innocence in the statement.

His defense counsel, Ahsanullah Khan, built his case on the fact that there were many loopholes in the lawsuit of the prosecution. This viewpoint created doubts over the handling of the evidence. Some started to believe that the investigating officer had self-produced the computer allegedly recovered from his client’s possession and sent it for forensic analysis.

The defense counsel further shared:

No indecent pictures of the complainant are shown, as alleged by the female teacher. Therefore, the case does not fall within the ambit of Section 21 of Peca, 2016. The investigation officer fails to produce any information sought from the Facebook management and the private internet service provider. And my client’s extrajudicial confession before the police has no legal value. I plead to the court to acquit Kamrani of the alleged false allegations.

Verdict of the Case

Recently, the verdict of the case was announced by the court after looking at recorded evidence and listening to final arguments from both sides. The district and sessions judge (East) Khalid Hussain Shahani announced:

The prosecution has successfully proved the charges against the accused (male teacher) beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. Therefore, the court awards three years’ imprisonment and imposes a fine of Rs. 1 million on Dr. Farhan Kamrani for committing an offense punishable under Section 21 (offenses against modesty of a natural person and minor) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The court also awards a three-year prison sentence to him and imposes a fine of Rs. 50,000 for the offense punishable under Section 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Lastly, the court hands down a two-year prison term and imposes a fine of Rs. 50,000 on him for an offense punishable under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the PPC.

Reports state that the convict Dr. Farhan Kamrani would undergo collective additional imprisonment for eight years. Following the ruling, the accused (who was present in court on bail) was arrested and sent to prison to serve his sentence.

It should be noted that the court has extended the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to him. 

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