The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday hinted at suspending the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) temporary ban on the popular short video-sharing Chinese app TikTok, as it summons senior official for the next hearing.
The authority on October 9, blocked the application citing that company’s failure to “fully comply" with its instructions for “development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah hearing against the ban issued a three-page order, directing PTA to nominate a senior official to appear before the court in the next hearing to explain why proceedings may not be initiated against the authority for violating the directions given by this court in previous judgements and why the order of banning the app may not be suspended.
The IHC noted that the questions raised by the petitioner – Ashfaq Jatt – needed consideration.
It called on President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (FUJ), Mazhar Abbas, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council, and former Information Minister Javed Jabbar to assist the judiciary over the alleged misuse of PTA powers to "assist the court on the question of violation of fundamental constitutional rights."
His advocate argued that the PTA’s act to slam the temporary ban is a violation of section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 and requested the court to strike it down. The next hearing of the case is slated for October 23.