Friday, August 12, 2022

IHC declares PECA ordinance null and void

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday declared the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) ordinance null and void, ARY News reported.

The IHC single bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah announced a four-page judgment on the petitions filed by PBA, PFUJ and others against the PECA ordinance.

“The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) ordinance, 2022 and promulgation is declared as unconstitutional, invalid beyond reasonable doubt and it is, therefore struck down,” the verdict read.

The court had clubbed all the petitions against the PECA ordinance. The PBA in its plea had claimed that the ordinance has been released to promote self-censorship and the president must have strong grounds before issuing any ordinance.

It merits mention here that IHC conducted hearing on a plea against Prevention from Electronic Crime Act (PECA) Amendment Ordinance 2022.

In a previous hearing, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan told court that the government is ready to take back the Pakistan Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Act (PECA).

Also Read: PECA Amendment not come into effect retroactively: Khalid Javed

Attorney General Khalid Jawed told the court that the matter can be sent back to the federal cabinet to get opinion of the concerned persons.

“The ordinance destined to be tabled in the National Assembly or Senate. It is not necessary to produce in the house where you have majority,” Justice Athar Minallah remarked.

PECA law

Back in February this year, President Arif Alvi ratified Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) and according to the Amended PECA Ordinance, stricter penalties will be imposed for spreading fake news and hate speech content on electronic and social media platforms.

The amended act will also pave way for action over hate speech and fake news against the national institutions including the armed forces and national figures.

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