Freedom of speech should not be taken as licence: IHC judge

Court issues notices to secretaries of ministry of law and justice, information technology


Waheed Dogar


Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Amir Farooq remarked on Friday that after watching experts’ analysis on news channels, it seems, the country has much freedom of speech than any other country in the world.

The justice, however, remarked that external elements could not be ignored to misuse this freedom. He said that a lot of material against institutions and their heads was circulating on social media. The judge deplored that violence in the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) could burn the entire country.

He remarked this during the hearing of a case pertaining to the enactment of the law against cybercrime. The applicant prayed for the enactment of the law against cybercrime while keeping in view the freedom of speech.

Deputy Attorney General Arshad Kayani said everything should not be allowed in the name of freedom of speech. He said that the freedom of speech was there but the state cannot allow violation of the law. “Individuals do whatever they want to do or say and they should not be stopped from speaking their mind under the garb of law.

The IHC judge remarked the freedom of speech did not mean using obvious language against state institutions and damaging their reputation. Justice Farooq remarked that external backing of some individuals cannot be ruled out.

Islamabad High Court while issuing notices to secretaries of the ministry of law and justice and information technology adjourned the case for three weeks.