KARACHI: The fate of the cases pertaining to cyber crime hangs in the balance as the federal government has not yet designated any judicial officer to try them, it emerged on Saturday. The legal lacuna regarding the nomination of a judicial officer to take cognizance of such crimes under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016 surfaced when the Federal Investigation Agency brought a suspect to the court of judicial magistrate, Karachi East to seek his physical remand. The informed sources told the Daily Times that Karachi East’s D&S Judge Faheem Ahmed Siddiqui while pointing out the lacuna had sent a reference to the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court requesting him to either direct the authorities to designate a judicial officer with his consultation as required by the law or to order the existing judicial officers to entertain such cases as stopgap arrangement. According to the sources, the Act was promulgated on 19th August, 2016 and as per its Section 1(5) it shall come into force at once. However difficulties arose in respect of cognizance as under Section 44 of the Act, the federal government in consultation with the chief justice of the respective high court shall designate a presiding officer to try the cases lodged under this Act. The Sources confirmed that no presiding officer has been designated by the federal government so far. However, under Section 29 of the Act FIA has been designated through a notification as law enforcement agency in respect of the implementation of the Act. They said that the FIA had started arresting the offenders under the new law, but no judicial officer can take cognizance of the offence in absence of any notification by the federal government in compliance with Section 44 of the Act. They said that the FIA had brought accused Farhan Kamrani, who is an assistant professor at Karachi University’s psychology department, to D&S Judge for remand but the judge refused to entertain the case citing the legal lacuna. According to the FIA authorities, Kamrani has been booked under Section 21 of the Act for causing harassment to a female teacher by posting objectionable and indecent content about her on the Facebook page of a private university. The assistant professor had also been placed under suspension by the university’s management following a letter from the FIA pertaining to his arrest.