Pak court dumps petition seeking ban on Facebook for ‘displaying blasphemous material’

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LAHORE - The Lahore High Court has disposed of a petition seeking a ban on social networking website Facebook for displaying blasphemous material.

Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry disposed of the petition after Deputy Attorney General Naveed Inayat Malik assured the court that the government was taking all necessary steps to block objectionable websites and stop access to anti-Islam matter on the internet, the Daily Times reports.

The petitioner- Muhammad Azhar Siddique- questioned the government’s performance, saying that the Foreign Affairs Ministry had failed to take up the issue at the international fora despite an earlier order of the court.

Siddique stated that Facebook had already faced an interim ban in the country for blasphemous material and flaring religious sentiments of the entire Muslim community, especially in Pakistan, and requested the court to order a permanent ban on the website in Pakistan. The contempt of court proceedings should be initiated against the owners of Facebook under Section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, he added.

CJ Chaudhry observed that in the interest of justice, the government should be given a chance to materialise the assurance, and directed Malik to keep the Additional Registrar (Judicial) abreast of the government’s steps.

He said that the petitioner may move the court again if the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Foreign Affairs Ministry fail to fulfil their responsibilities in this regard. (ANI)

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