Islamabad: SC grants bail to hackers
ISLAMABAD, April 11: The Supreme Court granted bail on Monday to two boys who are accused of hacking its official website and placing on it highly derogatory material about judiciary and the chief justice.
The bench, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, appeared to be in a relaxed mood when it took up the case.
The judges praised the accused for having done a `brilliant job`. When their counsel Iftikhar Hussain Gilani said the accused had not hacked the site, the judges asked him why he was reluctant to accept praise for his clients.
They said in a lighter vein they would grant bail on the condition that the accused taught them how to do such a job.
But the bench observed that it was not just the issue of hacking. The act deprived the general public and visitors of the website from around the world of general information and information about fixation of cases.
The counsel for National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) of the Federal Investigation Agency produced before the court screen shots of the hacked site.
The bench said it was not a simple case of hacking because highly objectionable material had been placed on the website.
The defence counsel insisted that the site had not been hacked by the accused but by some Indians.
Advocates Tariq Bilal and Babar Bilal, appearing on behalf of NR3C, pointed out that the defaced page itself claimed that it was a joint effort and manifestation of Indo-Pakistan friendship.
A member of the bench observed light-heartedly that it could be a project of `Amn ki Aasha`.
The defence counsel argued that the offence did not fall within the prohibitory clause. Investigation has been completed and as such the accused are no longer required by the investigation agency.
The counsel for NR3C argued that neither the prosecution nor the Supreme Court registrar had any malice against the accused who had boasted of their act by placing their names on the defaced website. They were traced through modern devices and the material used for hacking as well as the footprints of the hacked page were recovered from the computer that they used at their home. Therefore, he said, they were not entitled to be released on bail which was a concession and not a right.
After hearing both sides, the court granted bail, considering the young age of the accused both of whom are under 18, against bonds of Rs25,000 each.
The SC website was hacked in September last year. Cyber Crime Director Shahid Nadeem Baloch constituted a special team which traced the accused in Kohat.