BHC declares petition against PECA Ordinance admissible

BHC declares petition against PECA Ordinance admissible

BHC declares petition against PECA Ordinance admissible

The Balochistan High Court (BHC). Image: File

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QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) has declared the constitutional petition of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) against the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) Ordinance admissible.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan issued notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan and directed him to file a reply within two weeks.

Chief Justice of BHC Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Rozi Khan Barech heard the constitutional petition of the BUJ and Balochistan Bar Council.

Inter-Provincial Chairman Balochistan Bar Council, Advocate Rahib Buledi, appeared in the court on behalf of the petitioner.

Read more: PECA law to stay with certain changes: Attorney General clears the air

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He argued that the PECA, 2016 was amended under a Presidential Ordinance. In the presence of democratic institutions, the ordinance was unconstitutional and illegal. So, it should be declared null and void, he said.

After hearing the arguments, the high court declared the constitutional petition admissible and directed to issue notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan and also directed the Attorney General to submit a reply within two weeks.

Former Supreme Court Bar President Amanullah Kanrani also appeared in the court and offered his full support at the next hearing in support of the constitutional petition against the PECA Amendment Ordinance.

After which the hearing was adjourned.

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Shahzada Zulfiqar, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President, Irfan Saeed, President Balochistan Union of Journalists and Manzoor Ahmed, General Secretary BUJ were present on the occasion.

Other officials and journalists including Jabbar Baloch and Gulzar Shah were also present.

Talking to media after the hearing, Advocate Rahib Buledi said that the BUJ and Balochistan Bar Council had challenged the PECA Presidential Ordinance.

“It is welcome that the petition has been declared admissible by the Balochistan High Court. It is the malice of the government to cruelly amend the PECA Act through a Presidential Ordinance,” he added.

“We have asked the court to declare the PECA Amendment Ordinance null and void,” he further said.

BUJ President Irfan Saeed said that journalists would take the Amendment Ordinance to its logical conclusion.

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“The government wants to stifle journalists through black law which we will not allow,” he maintained.

He said that lawyers were against the oppressive law. “Civil society and political parties are also with us,” he said.

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