Lahore High Court yesterday asked the petitioner to approach the Supreme Court (SC) for clarification of its interim order under which the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) has blocked YouTube.
LHC was hearing the case of YouTube ban filed by Bytes for All, an NGO with focus on internet freedom. Case is in court for over sixteen months now.
The bench, headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, issued this order as the federal government had submitted that they imposed the ban under the orders of SC.
It merits mentioning here that LHC had formed a committee of technical experts, which met in MoIT last week to discuss the possible solutions.
Federal Secretary IT Mr. Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Additional Sectary Mr. Amzat Ali Ranjha. Chairman PTA Dr. Ismail Shah, Member Telecom Mr. Muddasir Hussain, panel of IT experts, representatives of Attorney General’s office and petitioner along with its learned counsel had attended this particular meeting.
In response to this meeting the MoIT informed Lahore High Court that YouTube was blocked on the orders of Supreme Court.
In response to this, the counsel for the petitioner, Bytes For All, submitted that the SC had only directed MoIT to block controversial video from YouTube, but the ministry blocked the website entirely.
The petitioner also submitted that any filtering and blocking on the internet is counterproductive and predatory.
In response, a deputy general submitted the claim that the meaning of the order given by the SC was to block YouTube, because there is no mechanism available in the country to only block the controversial video.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the bench ordered the petitioner to move the SC for clarification of its order under which the website is blocked.
The court adjourned the hearing as date in office till clarification of the SC orders.