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Thursday April 18, 2024

Blocking controversial content: IHC asks PTA to consult govt

By Obaid Abrar Khan
August 07, 2021
Blocking controversial content: IHC asks PTA to consult govt

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday remarked that if banning TikTok is the only solution, then Google should also be banned.

The court directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to justify the ban on video-sharing app TikTok, and hold consultation with the federal government for developing a mechanism for curbing controversial content.

The case was heard by the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minhallah. At the outset of the hearing, he asked the PTA counsel that why TikTok has been banned. If banning TikTok is the only solution, then Google should also be banned, he remarked.

The PTA counsel replied that the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Peshawar High Court (PHC) had directed to ban the app and develop a mechanism to stop inappropriate content on it. The IHC chief justice asked the lawyer to read the verdicts of both the high courts and asked where the SHC and PHC have directed to ban TiKTok across the country?

“Both the high courts have asked to develop a mechanism to stop inappropriate content,” he remarked, and added that both the decisions were wrongly implemented. Justice Athar Minhallah said such inappropriate videos are also available on YouTube, so why the PTA has not blocked it? The IHC issued notice to the secretary IT and asked the PTA to convince the court over complete ban on TikTok. The court also directed the PTA to hold consultation with the federal government for developing a mechanism. The hearing of the case was later adjourned until August 23.