LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other respondents on a petition seeking a ban on various social media applications, including TikTok, Bigo Live and Likee.

Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti took up a civil miscellaneous application filed by Advocate Waqas Anwar Gujjar in his pending petition. The lawyer referred to some recent incidents wherein young men had lost their lives while making videos for TikTok.

He said several applications had been filed with the PTA and other respondent authorities but no action had been taken against the apps. He said these apps had become a source of wastage of time for youngsters.

The lawyer stated that these applications had been spreading vulgarity and immorality in society. Pakistan was an Islamic country and the state should take swift action to protect its youth from falling prey to immorality and obscenity.

He asked the court to impose a permanent ban on these applications in the best interest of the public.

The judge directed the respondents to submit their replies within a week.

E-CHALLAN: The court also directed a provincial law officer to present a court order under which the Punjab Safe Cities Authority had been issuing e-challans to motorists over violation of traffic rules.

Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza was hearing a petition challenging the legitimacy of the e-challans.

During the hearing, a law officer admitted that there was no legislation so far to issue e-challans. However, he said, the fines had been issued in accordance with an order by a court.

The judge observed that the government should be ashamed for recovering money from citizens without any law. He directed the law officer to present on the next hearing the court order that called for the e-challan.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2021

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