Cellular Services can Only be Suspended in Emergency: IHC

Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday provided the Additional Attorney General with extra 1 month time period to come up with his stance over Federal Government’s decision on the frequent suspension of mobile-phone services in the capital. Cellular Services can Only be Suspended in Emergency: IHC.

In last few hearings on the said issue, the AAG, Afnan Karim Kundi said that:

“The federal government was empowered to suspend mobile phone services under sub-section (2) of Section 54 of the Pakistan Telecommunications (Reorganisation) Act, 1996.”

Cellular Services can Only be Suspended in Emergency: IHC

This provision states that:

“The government shall exercise “preference and priority” in all telecom systems when necessary “for the defence and security of Pakistan”.”

In this regard, Justice Athar Minallah remarked the sub-section (3) of Section 54 wording which clearly states that:

“While services can be suspended, it can only be done so after an emergency has been proclaimed.”

After this AAG requested the court for some more time to prepare his case and the court accepted his request.

The court on Tuesday ends on prima facie basis that the shutdown of mobile network due political and other issues in the capital is an illegal action and misuse of powers under the Section 54 (3) of the PTA Act.

Please Read Legal Document: Pakistan: Telecommunications (Re-organization) Act

The issue came into lime light after petitioners Masooma Hassan, Muhammad Zohaib, Waqar Ahmad and Ahmed Raza filed petition on shutdown of mobile services on 23 March, 2016.

Source: The Express Tribune

The petitioners cased against the relevant telecom companies and PTA on the plea that the frequent suspension of services hurdle their communication with friends and families and that the Government must take action against them.

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