A petition challenging the cybercrime act, known as Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, PECA, has been filed at the Islamabad High Court.
The petition was filed by lawyer Yasser Latif Hamdani on behalf of Pakistan Press Foundation, an organization that works for the freedom of expression.
The petitioner argued that certain provisions in the cyber law were overbroad, stood contrary to the Article 19 of the constitution and International Covenant on Civil and Political rights to which Pakistan was a signatory.
The petitioner therefore prayed to court to “declare Sections 9, 10, 11, 20, 25, 26 and 37 of the PECA to be ultra vires the Fundamental Rights Chapter and in particular Article 19 of the Constitution, in addition to being in violation of Pakistan’s international commitments as a State Party to the ICCPR and therefore illegal and unconstitutional.
Admitting the petition, IHC judge Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom and the Ministry of Law and Justice through the deputy attorney general before adjourning the matter for three weeks for reply by the Federation of Pakistan.
Annam Lodhi is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy