Apex court voids IHC verdict in cellular phone services suspension case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Wednesday annulled the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict in a case regarding suspension of cellular phone services.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the court directed the mobile phone service providers to contact the federal government if they had concerns regarding the duration of service suspension, scope and area.

The court said mobile phone service was shut down to prevent unpleasant and terrorist incidents.

The court observed that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) did not take these facts into account while issuing the verdict.

The court also observed that the mobile phone companies had not challenged the high court decision for many years.

The court said mobile phone companies had expressed their concerns in the high court and not before the federal government.

The counsel for Zong company said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had issued instructions to shut down mobile phone service at any festival. If there was a security problem, there should be instructions to stop the service in a specific area, but instead of that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had instructed the companies to shut down the service throughout the city, the counsel added.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said mobile service suspension instructions must be valid and transparent.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin said if there was peace in the country, everyone should be benefited from the service. He said the country needed business and foreign investment. He said a foreign company could not dictate the government regarding shutting down of service.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said companies must comply with the state’s laws.

SC regularises service of NCHD employee: The Supreme Court on Wedn-esday maintained the Pes-hawar High Court (PHC)’s verdict and directed the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) to regularise the service of its contract employee Iffat Noorin.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan heard the case filed by NCHD against the PHC verdict.

During the course of pr-oceedings, the court rejected the National Commi-ssion for Human Devel-opment’s application of not to give permanent employment to the field officer.

The counsel for Iffat informed the court that NCHD made 3088 contract employees permanent in 2012, however his client’s service was not regularized as she was on leave due to illness. He said when she returned to duty after leave, she was fired from service.