ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has challenged social media rules enacted by the government, before Islamabad High Court (IHC).

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah will hear the petition today.

The petitioner, Nasir Zaidi, secretary general of the union, cited Ministry of Information Technology secretary and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman as respondents.

According to the petition, the information secretary is responsible, under various provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996, (PTRA) and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA), for issuing policy directives and directions as well as granting approvals to the PTA in relation to exercise of powers under PTRA 1996 and PECA 2016.

Implementation of ‘Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards), Rules 2020’, the petition states, will inevitably lead to violation of rights to livelihood and freedom of trade and profession, guaranteed to the citizens under Articles 9 and 18 of the Constitution.

The rules violate general principles prescribed by constitutional courts for the exercise of rule-making powers and enactment of subordinate legislation by executive and regulatory authorities, it states, adding subject matter of the rules goes beyond the legal mandate given to the PTA and IT Ministry and is not in conformity with Section 37(2) of PECA 2016, under which rules have to be enacted for the specific purpose of providing safeguards, transparency and effective oversight mechanism for exercise of powers under Section 37(1).

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2020



Crime against humanity
Updated 03 Dec 2021

Crime against humanity

The government has yet to fulfil its long-standing pledge to criminalise enforced disappearances.
03 Dec 2021

Revised valuations

THE revised property valuations notified by the FBR for 40 cities for the purpose of collecting federal taxes —...
03 Dec 2021

PWD await rights

ON the International Day of Disabled Persons, it is important to take stock of how far Pakistan has come in ensuring...
02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...