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The Islamabad High Court dismissed on Friday pleas submitted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) Amendment Bill 2022, saying they were “inadmissible”, reported Aaj News.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the proceedings of the case.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked that the “actual stakeholder” has already challenged the ordinance in court and final arguments were underway in the case.

The chief justice said that the PML-N and PPP have a forum, which is the parliament, available to them to contest changes in the law. He noted that the court respects political parties and advised them to strengthen parliament instead of approaching courts.

“The political party’s moving of court is disrespect to the parliament. Instead of submitting unnecessary petitions in the courts, the political parties should play their role in parliament,” he said, adding that parliament can even amend the Constitution.

PECA ordinance: IHC censures FIA’s powers

The court said a plea against PECA by stakeholders is already being heard and appointed Advocate Mansoor Awan as amicus curiae in the case.

Justice Minallah said the court listened to other stakeholders -- journalist bodies among them -- as there was no other forum available to them, but political parties can go to parliament.

“We took up petitions against PECA on Thursday, listened to the attorney general as well,” the court said, adding that ‘symbolic hearings’ on the pleas filed by political parties could not be conducted.

The development comes a day after the higher court extended the stay order on section 20 of the PECA Amendment Bill 2022. During the hearing, the IHC barred FIA from carrying arrests.

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