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Sunday November 27, 2022

SHC reverses ban on TikTok in Pakistan

SHC had on June 28 ordered PTA to suspend the services of TikTok over a citizen's petition

By Web Desk
July 02, 2021
SHC reverses ban on TikTok in Pakistan

KARACHI:  The ban on TikTok was lifted by the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) gave assurances to the court that it will address the petitioner’s grievances request by Monday.

The SHC had on June 28 ordered the PTA to suspend the services of the video-sharing site after a citizen, who was aggrieved by the "immorality and obscenity" on the mobile app, had filed a petition.

During today's hearing, the PTA apprised the court that it had blocked access to the app on June 30.

It had requested the court to review its decision and allow it to restore the services.

The PTA counsel assured the court that it would expedite the process on the petitioner's request and issue a ruling on it by July 5.

After hearing the arguments, the SHC withdrew the suspension order and directed the PTA to make a decision on the matter till then.

The hearing was then adjourned till next Monday.

It is pertinent to mention that TikTok was blocked for the third time in the past 12 months due to the content shared on the mobile app.

It was earlier banned in April by the Peshawar High Court on the same grounds. The PTA had also taken action against TikTok in October and blocked access to it.

Why did SHC suspend TikTok, again?

The SHC's ruling came during a hearing on a petition filed to suspend the app Monday, where the court issued a notice to the attorney general of Pakistan and directed him to follow the orders and get the app suspended.

Presenting his arguments in the court, the petitioner's lawyer said the Peshawar High Court had earlier banned TikTok as some videos uploaded on the platform are "immoral and against the teachings of Islam."

The lawyer had said his client had approached the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) before moving the court, however, the PTA did not do anything in this regard.

Fawad slam ban

After the SHC ban on the app, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had lashed out at the verdict banning TikTok across Pakistan till July 8, terming it "judicial activism".

Taking to Twitter, Chaudhry had warned of consequences Pakistan will face in case it did not carry out judicial reforms.

"Pakistan will never come out of its economic crisis if judicial reforms are not undertaken," he had said on Twitter.

"I'm baffled after reading yesterday's verdicts on suspension of TikTok and the removal of the NBP president, and can't help but wonder: what are our courts doing?" asked the information minister.

Chaudhry had noted that Pakistan, already, was suffering from losses worth billions of dollars due to "judicial activism".