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August 17, 2020

Court moved against Citizen Protection Rules

Lahore

August 17, 2020

Lahore:A constitutional writ petition has been filed before the Islamabad High Court challenging Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah is scheduled to hear the petition on Monday, August 17. The petition has been moved by Advocate Usama Khawar on behalf of Asad Baig, an Islamabad-based journalist, the founder and executive director of Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan's leading media development organisation.

Expressing concern over and alarmed by the Rules, the petitioner has requested the court to declare the Rules ultra vires the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 and the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996, the fundamental rights of the citizens secured in the Constitution, namely right to access to information and freedom of expression, the doctrine of delegated legislation, and Pakistan’s international commitments and obligations.

Making the federal government, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) as respondents, Advocate Usama Khawar has requested the court to suspend the implementation of the Rules.