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.
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.
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.
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.
Reporters: Ihtesham Kiyani and Amanat Gishkori