The Peshawar High Court has issued a detailed decision regarding the ban on Tik Tok. The Court has said in a detailed judgment that obscene and objectionable content is being uploaded on Tik Tok without any ban which is against Islamic values and ethics. Therefore, the app will remain banned in the country until there is a mechanism to filter such content.
In a detailed decision on the petition against Tik Tok, a bench comprising Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Qaiser Rasheed Khan and Justice Muhammad Nasir Mahfooz ordered the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ban the app until its content, which is immoral and obscene and against social values, is filtered.
The court has sought a report from the PTA on April 6 regarding the progress in this regard and has adjourned the hearing on the petition till then.
Read more: Peshawar High Court orders to ban Tik Tok
In a joint petition filed in the Peshawar High Court, 40 Peshawar residents had asked the court to ban the parties, including the PTA and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), from violating constitutional provisions in the country. Which does not allow acts contrary to the Islamic code of conduct.
In compliance with the March 11 court order, the PTA had directed the internet service providers to immediately stop users from accessing Tik Tok. The app is currently inaccessible in the country.
“In the last hearing, in the context of the serious issue of misuse of Tik Tok by the younger generation, especially teenagers, where pornographic, obscene, immoral and objectionable content in the form of pictures and videos was banned,” the detailed judgment said. Without uploading which is against Islamic values and ethics, we directed all concerned circles to sit together and formulate a method/formula for testing such material as soon as possible and present it in court.
The bench further said that “PTA Director General Kamran Khan had informed the court that the matter was taken up with the concerned headquarters in Singapore several times but the desired results could not be achieved”.
“Because there is no local Tik Tok office, they feel helpless to control or ban the uploading of unethical and objectionable content unless the app is banned.” Or this matter should be settled.
The bench said that during the arguments on the petition, the petitioners had presented some more obscene material which is being uploaded very fearlessly.
“There is no doubt that this is apparently just an app for entertainment but over a period of time it has become a drug which has mostly affected the younger generation,” the verdict said.
The court ruling further said that some teenagers in the country committed suicide due to Tik Tok.
In its decision, the bench said that due to such activities, Tik Tok is banned in some Islamic countries and the app is banned in other countries too.
The petitioners contend that the content shared on the Tik Tok app is against the Constitution of Pakistan which guarantees the social and moral well-being of the citizens.
The Federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Law and Justice, Chairman PTA, PTA, and FIA Cyber Crime Wing were made parties in the petition through the Home Secretary.
Petitioners’ lawyers Nazish Muzaffar and Sara Ali Khan said the Chinese company ByteDance launched the controversial app in 2016 and introduced it worldwide.
He said that as an Islamic country, if the app could not be completely banned in Pakistan, then it should be banned at least to the extent of inappropriate content.
It may be recalled that on March 11, the Peshawar High Court, while hearing a petition against Tik Tok, had ordered the closure of the app across the country.
Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Qaiser Rashid Khan during the hearing on the petition filed against Tik Tok had remarked that the videos uploaded on Tik Tok are not acceptable to our society.
The PTA had said that “in the light of the orders of the Peshawar High Court, the authority has issued instructions to the service providers to immediately block the Tik Tok app”.
On the other hand, Tik Tok said in its response to the service shut down in Pakistan that “the app carefully monitors content that violates the terms and conditions and community guidelines and uses various technologies and content to review the content.”
It may be recalled that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had shut down Tik Tok across the country on October 9 last year for not removing pornographic material, which was later restored on the assurance of the Tik Tok administration.