The plea against the newly imposed social media rules was approved at a routine hearing by the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Justice Athar Minallah. The petition was lodged by the Federal Union of Journalists of Pakistan (PFUJ).
Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan’s plea for the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), the next proceeding is delayed until 25 December 2020.
The Petition defines:
The rules contradict the general standards laid down by the judiciary for the exercise of legal control and the implementation of subordinate laws by the executive and state agencies, it notes that the addition of subject matter to the rules goes beyond the legal mandate granted to the PTA and the IT Ministry and also is not in accordance with Section 37(2) of the PECA 2016 Regulations.
Overview of New Social Media Rules in Pakistan
Last month, the new social media rules had been set by the government in Pakistan. They were referred to as the Removal and Banning of Illegal Web Content (Procedure, Supervision and Safeguards), Regulations 2020. You can find them on the website of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority had rendered these arrangements.
The PTA rules note that Group standards take priority over those adopted by a social media corporation. It may also block the whole online system or whatever service they offer. A penalty of Rs.500 million may be levied by the PTA if there is no enforcement of the new social media rules in the region.
Social media firms have also declined to open offices in Pakistan since the government approved an interim edition of the laws in February. That said the regulations would make it incredibly hard for AIC Members to make their services accessible to Pakistani users and companies.