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IHC gives one month deadline to prepare report on social media rules

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has given a one-month deadline to the government committee for preparing a report on social media rules, ARY News reported on Friday.

The IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition against the social media rules devised by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan told the court that the prime minister constituted a committee to review the social media rules.

CJ IHC Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court welcomed the steps taken by the federal government and set hopes for a report prepared by the committee in light of the objections and recommendations.

Read: Amid criticism, govt decides to review social media rules

The judge questioned the attorney general whether he was assisting the government committee or not. Khalid Javed replied that a lawyer was already included in the committee, whereas, AG Office was also ready to assist them if needed.

The attorney general said that a month was given to the committee to finalise its report.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the court had earlier given a month to the federal government, however, no progress was made except the constitution of a committee on the last day of the deadline. He also raised objections to the committee members and pleaded with the court to order the inclusion of stakeholders in the government committee.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the federal government has formed its own committee and those having objections to it could move to the court. The counsel said that the court directives were about to include stakeholders in the consultations.

Read: Govt to review social media regulatory laws, AGP informs IHC

The judge remarked that stakeholders could provide the committee with their written recommendations and the committee would formulate rules in accordance with the suggestions. The counsel said that opposition should also be included in the committee.

AG Khalid Javed Khan said he has also thought about it but it will increase the timeframe of preparing a report up to three months. He also questioned who should be the member of the committee.

The CJ IHC remarked that the court would not run on the basis of concerns and the doors are open for everyone if anyone finds something wrong.

Later, the high court gave a one-month deadline to the government committee to prepare a report regarding social media rules and adjourned the hearing till May 10.

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