SC Upholds the Legality of Pakistan’s Citizen Portal.


Supreme Court Upholds the Legality of Pakistan’s Citizen Portal:

Hearing a petition for leave to appeal against a judgment of the Peshawar High Court, wherein the PHC had declared the functioning and working of the Prime Minister’s Performance, Delivery Unit and the Pakistan Citizen Portal as unconstitutional,  the Supreme Court held that functioning and working of these two mobile applications are not in contravention of the constitutional scheme. It does not amount on the part of the Federal Government to intrude into the domain of the provincial government. Thus, the judgment of the PHC was reversed and the legality and constitutionality of the units were upheld.

The background facts of the case are that an unknow person lodged a complaint on the portal and alleged that certain persons were possessing chemical and biological weapons which could be used for terrorist activities. The then Federal Government forwarded the complaint to the concerned authorities in KP for action. The complaint proved to be false at a later stage.

In this context, the aggrieved party filed a  petition  in the PHC to direct the administration of the Units to disclose the identity of the complainants as they were harassed by filing a frivolous and baseless complaint. The PHC did not grant the relief sought. Instead the HC dilated upon the legality and constitutionality of the portal and the unit, and thus held that the act of Federal Government was in fact intrusion into the domain of the provincial government which is violative of our constitutional scheme.

The Supreme Court held that mere forwarding a complaint by the federal government to a provincial government does not amount to transgression and encroachment upon the domain provincial government. This is merely convey the information/complaint to a provincial government.

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