IHC adjourns PTA’s appeal in cellular services suspension case


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday adjourned an intra-court appeal filed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) challenging a single bench’s decision of declaring the suspension of mobile phone services for security reasons illegal.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the appeal.

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Adia Aziz contended that the PTA’s appeal was non-maintainable, adding that it should approach the Supreme Court (SC) as per rules.

A PTA counsel said a case related to mobile phone services was also pending in the top court. At this, the bench adjourned the hearing until a decision by the apex court.

Last year in Feb, a single bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah had declared the suspension of mobile phone services on the pretext of security as illegal. The verdict came on petitions challenging the government’s decision of frequently shutting down cellular services in the federal capital over security concerns.

In March 2016, residents of Islamabad took the federal authorities to the court for suspending mobile services for security reasons.

The petitioners submitted that the suspension of telecom services in the name of security greatly disturbed their lives, adding that such a practice was illegal under the telecom laws as well.

They pleaded with the court to restrain the government from shutting down the mobile services.