Pakistan court orders investigation of actress over sex tape

LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) - A Pakistani court on Monday ordered the police to investigate whether to bring obscenity charges against a popular film actress allegedly involved in a sex tape controversy in the conservative Islamic country.

Starlet Irtiza Rubab, known by her stage name Meera, has stated that a video purporting to show her and husband Naveed Pervaiz having intercourse was fabricated.

The clip, which was released in January, went viral among Pakistani Internet users.

Mr Shabbir Ahmed, an office worker in the eastern city of Lahore, took the matter to court in February - saying she should be charged with "spreading obscenity and adultery".

The couple have not attended any of the case's 10 hearings so far.

Judge Safdar Ali Bhatti in his order on Monday said: "As per law, the petitioner along with the application should go to the police station and the police station should take action in accordance with the law."

Meera's lawyer Ahmed Faheem Bhatti said he would try to overturn Monday's ruling in the high court.

"My client has all along been denying that she was in the video and she has stated that it was a fake video," the lawyer told AFP.

Meera, whose hits include Nazar, has been one of the Pakistani film industry's leading actresses since the 1990s.

The industry peaked during the 1950s and 1960s but declined following the advent of the video recorder and the Islamisation policies of military ruler General Zia ul Haq during the 1980s.

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