Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IHC declares the PECA ordinance null and illegal

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) ordinance was ruled null and illegal by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday.

The petitions brought by the PBA, the PFUJ, and others against the PECA ordinance were heard by a single bench of the IHC, presided over by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, and resulted in a four-page decision.

The court has consolidated all of the applications filed in opposition to the PECA ordinance. The PBA had stated in its petition that the ordinance had been issued in order to encourage self-censorship and that the president must have compelling reasons for establishing an ordinance before doing so.

IHC heard arguments in opposition to the Prevention from Electronic Crime Act (PECA) Amendment Ordinance 2022, which should be included here.

The Attorney General, Khalid Jawed Khan, stated in a prior appearance in court that the government is prepared to rescind the Pakistan Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Act (PECA).

In his testimony before the court, Attorney General Khalid Jawed stated that the subject might be returned to the federal cabinet for a second opinion from the relevant parties.

In the National Assembly or the Senate, the ordinance is expected to be introduced.” Justice Athar Minallah stated that “it is not required to produce in the house in which you have a majority.”

PECA law is a piece of legislation that protects the environment.

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President Arif Alvi ratified the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) in February of this year, and under the Amended PECA Ordinance, stricter penalties will be imposed on those who spread fake news and hate speech content on electronic and social media platforms. The Amended PECA Ordinance is available here.

The modified statute would also make it possible to take action against hate speech and fake news directed at national institutions, such as the armed forces and national personalities, under certain conditions.

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