Shutting down social media useless practice, remarks IHC CJ

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Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has remarked there is no use to shut down all social media platforms in order to curb the objectionable material on them as world has progressed so much and restrictions will not bring desired results.

The IHC has sought guidance from the amicus curiae to enlighten the court if the social media rules were not in conformity with the Constitution of Pakistan.

The IHC was hearing petitions against social media rules on Monday. The court appointed Sadaf Baig, Nighat Daad, Fareeha Aziz, Rafeh Baloch, PFUJ and Pakistan Bar Council as amicus curiae.

Chief Justice Minallah asked the amicus curiae to assist the court in understanding whether the social media rules were against the spirit of constitution or not.

Additional Attorney General Qasim Wadood informed the court that as per IHC’s order, consultation was held with some stakeholders.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a committee headed by Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, he said adding that the committee consulted with more than 30 stakeholders.

Wadood further told the court that the committee talked to the Facebook, Google, Twitter and other global forums. The annoyed chief justice remarked: “This is not a joke. We have to abide by the law but we are deviating.”

Justice Minallah said that the authorities were misusing their power under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. “Where it is written that the authority must perform the moral policing,” the judge stated adding that the TikTok had been shut for a long time.

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