IHC rejects plea for suspending social media rules immediately

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ISLAMABAD:      Islamabad High Court (IHC) while rejecting the plea to suspend social media rules -2020 forthwith has sought reply from respondents.

A bench led by IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah took up for hearing case against social media proposed government rules here Monday.

Jahangir Khan Jadoon counsel for the petitioner said during the course of hearing of the case that government wants to curb freedom of expression and this step of government runs alien to the constitution.

CJ Athar Minallah inquired regulations are all over the world.

Jahangir Khan Jadoon said “ here government wants to control media in the name of regulations. Social media rules-2020 are in conflict with articles 19 and 19-A of the constitution. Bar councils and journalists organizations have condemned it and on the other hand government has not even asked from social media stake holders.

CJ remarked “ has government not said this these rules are suspended at present.

The counsel said government has said nothing like this so far. Social media rules-2020 are on field. Government should be asked by issuing notice to it that what is status of rules.

Jahangir Khan Jadoon said national coordinator is being appointed for implementation of social media rules-2020 and he has been delegated more powers than authority. Under rules-2020 national coordinator will be authorized to impose fine upto Rs 500 million. How will be coordinator appointed and what will be his educational qualification is not known.

IHC while rejecting the plea for suspending social media rules-2020 immediately directed ministry of information technology and other respondents to file reply within 14 days.