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April 3, 2021

IHC gives govt one month to prepare social media rules

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday gave one month to the government committee to frame the social media rules.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition against the social media rules devised by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan told the court that the prime minister had constituted a committee to review the social media rules.

Justice Minallah remarked that the court welcomed the federal government’s steps and expected the report prepared by the committee in light of the objections and recommendations.

The judge asked the attorney general if he was assisting the government committee or not to which he replied that a lawyer was already part of the committee, while the AG Office was also ready to assist them if needed.

The attorney general said one month was given to the committee to finalize the report.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the court had earlier given one month to the federal government but no progress was made except that a committee was constituted on the last day of the deadline.

He also objected to the committee members and pleaded with the court to order inclusion of stakeholders in the committee.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the federal government had formed its own committee and those objecting to its constitution could move to the court.

The judge remarked that the stakeholders could provide the committee with their written recommendations and the committee would formulate rules in accordance with the suggestions.

The counsel said the opposition should also be included in the committee. AG Khalid Javed Khan said he had also thought about it but it would increase the time frame up to three months for preparing the report. He also questioned who should be the committee member. The chief justice remarked that the court would not run on the basis of concerns and its doors were open to everyone if anything was found wrong.

Later, the court gave one month to the government committee to prepare the report and adjourned the hearing.