IHC asks PTA to elucidate why TikTok ban order shouldn’t be suspended

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ship a senior officer on the subsequent listening to of a petition filed towards the TikTok ban, searching for an evidence from the authority on why the order to ban the Chinese-owned app shouldn’t be suspended. On October 9, the PTA had blocked the brief video cell utility citing the corporate’s failure to “absolutely comply” with its instructions for “development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.The petitioner, who stated that he was a well-known athlete, argued that TikTok provides a platform for talented Pakistani citizens to exercise their right of expression and to demonstrate creativity.IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over the hearing and issued a three-page written order after hearing the initial arguments. “The Authority is directed to appoint a senior officer to seem earlier than this Court on the following date fastened and clarify why proceedings is probably not initiated for violating the instructions given by this Court within the aforementioned judgments and why the order of banning ‘TikTok’ app is probably not suspended,” he wrote. The IHC noted that the questions raised by the petitioner 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 aid the judiciary over the alleged misuse of PTA powers and “help the courtroom on the query of violation of elementary constitutional rights.”PTA ban on Tiktok challenged in SHCEarlier on Tuesday, the ban on the video-sharing app TikTok by the PTA was challenged in the Sindh High Court (SHC).The petitioner had argued that there are 20 million users of TikTok in Pakistan and the ban is a violation of the Constitution’s Article 19. Article 19 states: “Every citizen shall have the proper to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, topic to any affordable restrictions imposed by regulation within the curiosity of the glory of Islam or the integrity, safety or defence of Pakistan or any half thereof pleasant relations with international States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of courtroom, [commission of] or incitement to an offence.”The petitioner stated that whoever is misusing the app should be penalised and his ID should be blocked, rather than placing a blanket ban on TikTok. “It is unreasonable to dam your complete utility,” he added.He requested the SHC intervene and raise the ban on the video-sharing app. The petition was accepted for listening to on October 15.