Hearing in case against YouTube ban adjourned by LHC
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday, on request of the Ministry of Information Technology, adjourned till June 06 the hearing of a petition challenging the ban on YouTube, a video sharing website.
The court was informed by the law officer of the ministry that the administration of the Google, of which YouTube is a subsidiary, was considering appearing before the Pakistani court, therefore, the proceeding should be adjourned.
YouTube was blocked across Pakistan on September 17, 2012 following orders by the then Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. The PM had imposed ban after YouTube refused to heed to the advice of the Pakistan government to remove the blasphemous film from the website.
The court on the previous hearing had sought assistance of the ministry in this regard besides directing it to approach the Google administration and seeking their point of view. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC was hearing the petition filed by the NGO ‘Bytes for All’ challenging the ban.
On the previous hearing, a deputy attorney general had told the court that the federal government was willing to lift the ban but the blasphemous material was still available on the website.
In the petition on behalf of the NGO, Advocate Yasser Latif Hamdani submitted that all internet curbs were counterproductive and deprived Pakistanis the right of access to information as well as the right to counter any propaganda against the country or against what they believe in strongly.
In the petition, he said, taking away YouTube’s access was the modern equivalent of taking away the scholar’s pen.He submitted before the court that the ban on YouTube amounted to infringing upon fundamental rights about reading and acquiring knowledge. He said a large number of people had been affected by the ban. He appealed to the court to declare the ban as illegal, issue directions to restore access to it in the country.
Source: The News