PM to Face Contempt of Court Notice If No Progress Against Blasphemous Content: IHC

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has warned that if court’s orders are not complied with in removal of  blasphemous content from social media then contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against Prime Minister (PM), federal ministers and bureaucrats.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the case on blasphemous content on social media today.

Special secretary interior, Furquan, appeared on behalf of the federal government while Tariq Asad advocate represented the petitioner.

Special secretary interior told the court that a committee comprising representatives of ministry of religious affairs, ministry of law and ministry of information technology has been constituted under the directives of PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

This committee is working out recommendations with regard to blocking of blasphemous content on social media. The recommendations from the committee during its two previous meetings have been approved by the cabinet.

The learned judge, while expressing displeasure over the reply of the interior secretary, remarked legislation is enacted within a day to protect an incompetent person then why is government using dirty tactics on the issue of removal of blasphemous content from social media.

The court ordered the government to implement its March 31 order by December 22.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui remarked that non-implementation of court’s verdict is beyond comprehension. If the court’s decision is not implemented by December 22 then contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against the PM and ministers. Government has done nothing on implementation of court’s decision regarding Namoos-e- Risalat (S.A.W.W).

Special interior secretary said that the committee meeting will be convened and the court’s decision will be implemented soon.

The court, while giving time to government, remarked that legislation should be enacted for blocking social media pages posting blasphemous content and reports to be filed before contempt of court notices are issued to the PM, federal ministers and bureaucrats.