Hearing 1: Bolo Bhi’s Petition Challenging IMCEW

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On December 12, 2014, Bolo Bhi filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court, challenging the legality of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Evaluation of Websites (IMCEW). 

[More details in our press release here]

The preliminary hearing was held on Monday, December 15, 2014 before Justice Athar Minallah. Bolo Bhi was represented through its legal counsel, Babar Sattar.

Our primary contention is this:

– Freedom of speech and access are fundamental rights

– The IMCEW is an executive body constituted through an executive order

– The IMCEW derives no lawful authority to issue directives and block websites and content

– The IMCEW stands in contravention of the Constitution, Telecom Act, General Clauses Act and the Rules of Business 1973

The petition was accepted for further hearing and interim relief was granted. The following was ordered by the honourable judge:

– IMCEW is restricted from issuing any directives to PTA for blocking of websites without the court’s permission until the next hearing

– The Respondents must submit a complete list of blocked websites and minutes of meetings when the directives were issued within two weeks

– Respondents must answer before court where they derive the authority to block websites

A copy of our application for a stay can be found here and petition below:

 

 

Annexure and court orders will be made available soon.

For more details contact: farieha@bolobhi.org

See Also:

In Media: Tracking Bolo Bhi’s Petition 

Farieha Aziz is a Karachi-based, APNS-awardwinning journalist. She is a co-founder and Director at Bolo Bhi. She has a masters in English literature. She worked with Newsline from July 2007-January 2012 and taught literature to grades 9-12. She served as an amicus curiae in a case filed in the Lahore High Court in 2013, challenging the ban on YouTube, and is currently a petitioner on behalf of Bolo Bhi in a case filed in the Islamabad High Court challenging government's censorship on the Internet and the powers of the regulator. She can be found on Twitter: @FariehaAziz and reached via email: farieha@bolobhi.org

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