Islamabad: Following the former President of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, various Pakistani journalists’ associations have also challenged the recently enacted Pakistan Electronic Crime (Amendment) Act 2022 (PECA) in the Islamabad High Court.
The questioned law has sparked protests from media outlets and civil society, who have called it a “draconian law”.
Journalists’ associations including Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspaper Association (APNS), Council of Press Editors of Pakistan (CPNE), Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) and some senior journalists in the country have submitted application. The petition was filed through senior lawyer Munir A Malik.
The petitioners maintain in their defence that Articles 2 and 3 of the Presidential Decree contradict Articles 4, 9, 19, 19A and 89 of the Pakistani Constitution, which gives its citizens the right to know.
“The decree will be a source of promoting self-censorship […] The President of Pakistan must have a valid reason to issue the decree,” they said in their request.
The Federal Government, through the Cabinet Secretary, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Law and Justice, have been the petitioners for the High Court to repeal the PECA Act.