HomePakistan NewsFIA's plea in SC for restoration of section 20 in PECA withdrawn:...

FIA’s plea in SC for restoration of section 20 in PECA withdrawn: Marriyum Aurangzeb

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.— PID/File 

ISLAMABAD: Hours after the FIA approached the Supreme Court for the restoration of section 20 in the PECA Act 2016, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced that the plea has been “withdrawn immediately” as it goes against the government’s policy for freedom of expression.

“The prime minister and I learned a short while ago that FIA has filed a petition in Supreme Court against the Islamabad High Court judgment regarding PECA Act 2016 to seek restoration of section 20 of the Act. Please note that this petition stands withdrawn immediately, as it is squarely against the government’s stated policy and principle of standing for and ensuring freedom of expression,” tweeted the information minister.

Aurangzeb said that PM Shehbaz Sharif has “taken strict notice of the filing” of the petition. She shared that the news of the petition had reached to them a “little late” as they were in Bisham for the public gathering “during the day where there were no signals”.

A spokesperson of the FIA also confirmed that the appeal has been “withdrawn immediately”.

“FIA without taking the interior ministry and government’s approval had filed the petition,” the spokesperson told Geo News.

What was the petition? 

Earlier, today the FIA had approached the Supreme Court for the restoration of the highly controversial section 20 of the PECA Act 2016.

In its plea, the director general of the FIA, had contended before the Supreme Court whether the Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah was “justified or correct” to strike down the section 20 of the act.

The agency had also asked the apex court to examine whether the Islamabad High Court “has not advertently overstepped its legal parameters earmarked” in Article 199. It wanted the court to determine whether the striking of the section was tantamount to “undue intermeddling with the affairs of the federation”.

The FIA had also asked the Supreme Court to examins whether the IHC order was in “direct clash and conflict with Article 184 (3)”.

The FIA had also contended in its petition whether the IHC order was “extending undue favour” to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists “without any lawful justification, as certain unscrupulous elements amongst them are involved in slinging unbecoming, unparliamentary, defamatory and sarcastic remarks and language upon the law-abiding citizens as well as the honourable judges of superior judiciary, the hierarchy of the Federation and the State institutions valiant armed forces”.

The FIA contended before the SC to examine that the FIA by issuing such a directive violated “globally recognised landmark legal maxim, i.e., audi alteram partem (hear the other side; one must hear both sides of a case before reaching a decision)”. It alleged that the bench gave full audience to the PFUJ and directed inquiry against FIA officials who were not a party to the case. 

Details to follow…

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