The Islamabad High Court yesterday announced that the suspension of mobile phone services due to security is against the law. This decision is taken as a result of petitions that challenged the government on decision of shutting down cellular services in capital of Pakistan, Islamabad for security concerns.
Justice Athar Minallah had reserved his verdict on the petitions on December 21 after hearing arguments from both sides. This case was filed with federal authorities by residents of Islamabad in March 2016 as they were very in big problem with the government suspending mobile services for security reasons.
The petitioners said that when the telecom services are suspended on the name of security , their lives are greatly disturbed. They added that such practice is illegal under telecom laws of Pakistan.
The petitioners had also stated that unnecessary suspension of mobile phone services was a blatant violation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Act, 1996, adding that the act did not empower the government to suspend cellular services unless a state of emergency was declared by the president.
Section 54(3) of Pakistan Telecommunications Act, 1996, states:
“National Security-(3) Upon proclamation of emergency by the President, the Federal Government may suspend or modify all or any order or licenses made or issued under this Act or cause suspension of operation, functions or services of any licensee for such time as it may deem necessary.”
No Doubt, the suspension of mobile services is a cause of distress for the customers, especially in time of a civil unrest. It is a time when they need the services the most to reach out to their loved ones. So it is a very good news and a relief for all people.