PTA cannot block any website: IHC

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Observer Report

Islamabad

The Islamabad High Court has declared that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is not empowered to block any website in violation of due process and without hearing the other party.
“PTA is definitely not empowered to pass an order or take action under Section 37 in derogation of the mandatory requirements of due process,” order authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said. Hearing a case related to the blocking of Awami Workers Party’s website, the order said that PTA has stated in response to the query that Section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 empowers PTA to block websites “without notice or affording an opportunity of hearing to the person who could be adversely affected by an order or action of the authority.”