Tells PEMRA, PTA to submit practical proposals for blocking obscene content within 15 days
The Supreme Court (SC) has sought practicable proposals from senior lawyers, PEMRA and PTA within 15 days to block obscene and immoral programs on YouTube, other websites, and TV channels.
The court said it would decide on whether YouTube should be reopened in light of these recommendations.
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the dissemination of creative, positive, and educational material, which comes from internet and other sources, should be encouraged. He added that the dissemination of all material contributing to negative activities and immorality should be stopped.
He further observed: “we don’t want to see our young generation degenerate and become ruined. Islamic teachings say that our young generation should close down any website whenever they see any objectionable material on it. Necessary training is needed for the young generation so that it can start hating such objectionable material.”
Justice Qazi Faiz Essa said that no reason had been provided for blocking YouTube at present. It is providing education to people. People who cannot go abroad to get educated are getting it from the platform. He said that as far as obscenity and vulgarity are concerned, why does the youth watch such material. He asked why PEMRA does not block it fully.
A two-member bench of the SC presided over by Justice Ejaz Afzal took up the case for hearing Tuesday.
The additional attorney general (AAG) while presenting a report before the court said that PTA is taking strong measures for blocking objectionable material. It has blocked over 49,000 web sites and other sources related to obscene material during the last three years. Over 10,000 proxy websites have also been blocked.
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked, “In fact we have to see what sources of information are positive and what are negative, and what sources are most needed to be blocked.”
The PEMRA director general told the court that steps have been taken with reference to YouTube and a local office of YouTube never rejected any requests. “We can block any material whenever we want and we are blocking them,” he said.
The court asked for a comprehensive reply and adjourned the hearing of the case for 15 days.