PBC, SCBA oppose PECA ordinance; demands its withdrawal 

By: News Desk
Published: 07:19 PM, 22 Feb, 2022
PBC, SCBA oppose PECA ordinance; demands its withdrawal 
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Rejecting the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022, or PECA, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday demanded the government to withdraw the ordinance, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

In a statement, PBC said the purpose of promulgating the ordinance was to suppress voices of dissent by gagging media and the opposition leaders. 

It reminded that already there existed laws that had been enacted precisely for the protection of the prestige of state institutions. “Lawyers have always supported the freedom of media, and they will not, at any cost, tolerate steps to strangulate it,” reads the statement.

In its statement issued on Tuesday, the Supreme Court Bar Association has also decided to challenge the PECA Ordinance and amendments to the Election Act in a court of law. 

The SCBA said the PECA Ordinance was an instrument to slit the throats of dissenters and stifle the voice of those who believe in the freedom of expression. 

It said those who promulgated this black law, must understand that they should not throw stones while sitting in a glasshouse. Such restrictions were not imposed even in dictatorial regimes, it added. 

The matter of fake news is quite concerning but the government should not take any step that is against the constitution and basic rights.

It further said that amendments to the Election Act were tantamount to pre-poll rigging. Granting members of national and provincial assemblies to run political campaigns would affect the election process, it concluded.

‘Split’ in IHCBA over PECA ordinance:

Cracks have appeared in the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) over the PECA ordinance since both president and secretary of the Bar separately issued press releases on Tuesday, each questioning the other’s right to give opinion on the issue unilaterally.   

IHCBA secretary said that the president had no right to issue the statement without taking others into confidence. “We will not allow anybody to use the Bar’s name for his personal agenda,” he stated categorically. 

He went on to add that no meeting of the IHCBA had been held as was stated in the press release issued by the president. 

“Therefore, the opinion given by the president on the PECA ordinance is not of the IHCBA,” he concluded.  

Reporters: Ihtesham Kiyani and Amanat Gishkori