IHC stops govt from blocking non-filers’ Sims

Awais Yousafzai
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday stopped the government from blocking the SIMs of non-filers.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq stayed the order till May 27 as it took up the petition filed by a mobile phone company challenging the government’s decision.

The development came days after the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and telecom operators agreed on blocking the SIMs of non-filers as part of the government’s bid to curb tax-evasion in order to improve revenue generation amid dire economic indicators.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel Salman Akram Raja said the amendment to the law was at odds with Article 18 of Constitution which guaranteed freedom to do business. Raja said there could not be any legislation contrary to the fundamental rights given in the Constitution.

He told the court that the government could not take the authority of blocking the SIMs of people by making amendments to the law. “Blocking more than 500,000 SIMs will result in a loss of Rs1 billion annually,” the counsel said.