LAHORE: Some provisions of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 have been challenged in the Lahore High Court for being “contrary to the fundamental rights of citizens as protected in the Constitution”.

Social worker Zubair Niazi filed the petition through Advocate Sheraz Zaka pleading that the impugned law has been passed without approval of the Cabinet as declared mandatory in a recent judgement of the Supreme Court.

The petitioner states that the law is in violation of the fundamental rights/freedom of expression protected in Article 19-A of the Constitution. He says the cyber crime law has given unfettered and vast powers to the federal government to block internet content and to prosecute anyone who wants to freely express his views.

He says the law has not set any standards which could determine information likely to harm defence and security interests of the country.

The petitioner alleges that there is a possibility that the government would misuse the law under the garb of security and defence to victimise its opponents. He asks the court to declare sections 10, 19 and 32 of the cyber crime law unconstitutional.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2016

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