CJ IHC Athar Minallah serves notice to AGP in PECA ordinance case

CJ IHC Athar Minallah serves notice to AGP in PECA ordinance case

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday served a notice to Attorney General of Pakistan Barrister Khalid Jawed Khan on the petitions filed by journalist organisations against the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition against the PECA (Amendment) Act ordinance 2022 during which the court issued the notice to the AGP on the request of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND).

The associations, in their petition, said the ordinance would become a hindrance for journalists to cover prominent public figures. “It should be repealed.”

The petition said that the president must have reasonable justification for the issuance of an ordinance as sections 2 and 3 of the Ordinance reduce the right to information and violate the fundamental rights provided by Articles 19 and 19A of the Constitution.

During the hearing, Justice Athar Minallah inquired from the petitioners as to why they had not challenged Section 20 of the ordinance as other petitioners have even challenged the criminalisation of defamation.

In response, the petitioner’s lawyer, Munir Ahmed Malik, said that they have challenged the entire PECA ordinance. The court later directed the PBA’s application to be filed for hearing along with other petitioners.

The petitioners have maintained in the plea that Sections 2 and 3 of the presidential ordinance are contradictory to Articles 4, 9, 19, 19A and 89 of the Constitution of Pakistan which gives its citizens the right to know.