Official warned of contempt in internet access case

Published May 6, 2021
The counsel for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) informed the court that the authority had no objection to connect the tribal belt with internet service.
— AFP/File
The counsel for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) informed the court that the authority had no objection to connect the tribal belt with internet service. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday hinted at initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the secretary of the Ministry of Defence for delaying a summary related to internet access in tribal districts.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing the petition filed against internet service ‘black-out’ in the tribal areas.

The counsel for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) informed the court that the authority had no objection to connect the tribal belt with internet service.

He said the Ministry of Interior also gave the go-ahead for the proposed internet access.

He explained that a summary had been sent to the Ministry of Defence with the suggestion of providing internet access to these areas on Feb 19. In this regard, he said, a reminder had also been served on April 28, but to no avail.

While directing the defence secretary to place the summary before the federal cabinet, Justice Minallah said if the defence secretary failed to comply with the direction he should appear in person and explain as to why proceedings under the contempt of court ordinance should not be initiated against him.

The court directed the official to forward the summary to the federal cabinet for approval by June 7.

Earlier in January, the IHC had ordered that the matter be placed before the federal cabinet.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2021

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