FIA challenges IHC order against PECA Section 20 in SC

ISLAMABAD:

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday challenged in the Supreme Court the order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), declaring Section 20 of Pakistan’s Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) as unconstitutional.

The FIA ​​argued that the IHC granted relief to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) “without legal justification”, claiming that the High Court had misinterpreted Articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution.

The petition filed with the Supreme Court said the IHC’s ruling had rendered PECA Section 20 inactive, saying the ruling would encourage violators to break the law.

The FIA ​​has requested the suspension of the decision of the High Court of Islamabad dated April 8, 2022.

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The controversial act was passed by Pakistan’s ousted Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government, and subsequently disputed by the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) as well as various journalists’ organizations.

Media organizations challenged the FIA’s “undue” powers under Section 20 of the PECA Order, which made defamation a treasonable offence, before the IHC.

On April 8, the High Court, in a four-page order, declared Section 20 of the PECA Act “null and void” and ordered an investigation into the FIA’s abuse of power under the Act. PECA.

The court further dismissed the cases registered under Article 20 of the PECA.