LAHORE: A lawyer Chaudhry Saeed Zafar challenged the promulgation of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act-2016 Peca Ordinance 2022 through a writ petition before Lahore High Court.
Petitioner stated that the impugned ordinance was against the fundamental right of free speech enshrined under article 19 of the Constitution. He stated that the superior courts had time and again ruled that no one, including any government, department or law enforcement agency could curtail the freedom of speech, expression and press beyond the parameters of the article 19 of the Constitution.
Saeed Zafar stated that the courts were guardian of the people’s rights under a constitutional obligation to judicially review the affirmative, prosecutorial jurisdiction and discretionary role of the state institutions. He also stated that the judiciary had a duty to review the legislation that breached any provision of the Constitution.
He alleged that the sole motive behind the promulgation of the ordinance was to directly attack the independence of the judicial system as well as judges. He requested to declare the impugned ordinance illegal and void.
He further requested to immediately suspend the operations of the law till a final decision of the petition.
The lawyers organizations including Punjab Bar Council, Lahore High Court Bar Association and Lahore Tax Bar Association issued separate statements saying the ordinance was in sheer violation of the Constitution. They appreciated the filing of petition against this ordinance and demanded to resist at any cost the impugned ordinance4.