LHC admits plea challenging Cyber Crime Act 2016

LAHORE :Petition challenging Cyber Crime Bill 2016 has been admitted by the Lahore High Court on Friday for hearing while reply has been sought from the government on September 26.

Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the admission plea in the high court during which counsel of the petitioner, Ishtiaq Chaudhry maintained that the government attempted to curb people’s right to express freely and agencies have been given the authority to take action against any piece of content posted on social media which was not acceptable.

He observed that different law enforcement agencies now reserve the right to pursue action against any citizen of the state who expresses opinions on social media that they deem inappropriate without any beforehand notification.

The counsel of the petitioner pleaded that the law under discussion contradicted with the Constitution of Pakistan.

The petition filed urges the high court to nullify the newly enacted bill over Internet usage.

Justice Naqvi admitted the petition and issued notices to Attorney General, Advocate General and the Ministry of Law, summoning replies from the litigants on September 26.

Cyber Crime Bill was approved by the National Assembly on August 12 and the law got approval from the Senate over a month ago.

The bill witnessed unanimous approval from the senators but opposition members in the National Assembly voiced their reservations which could not be entertained against the majority.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Member of the National Assembly, Shireen Mazari stated that the political party had reservations with clauses five and six of the bill while the bill, on the whole, constitutes of 51 clauses.

Imran Leghari of Pakistan People’s Party opposed the bill seeing it as sabotage of freedom of the youth of the country that lives in a democratic environment.

Similarly, Abdul Waseem, affiliated with Muttahida Qaumi Movement criticised the bill and unsuccessfully called for amendments.

Cyber Crime Act 2016 allows law enforcement agencies to take action against any Pakistani who tries to hack personal or property related information about other citizens among other clauses that hold people with fake identities as violators.


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