PTA barred from blocking unregistered phones by Peshawar High court
The Peshawar High court (PHC) has barred the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) from blocking unregistered mobile phones. During the hearing of a petition filed by mobile dealers, PHC ordered PTA not to block any unregistered phone for the next three months.
A similar kind of petition was filed in April as well in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the mobile companies, where the decision to block unregistered cellphones was challenged and Justice Athar Minallah while conducting the hearing gave his remarks that “The stance of the companies is correct and the PTA should mend the issue on priority basis while extending its previous deadline”.
PTA assured the court at that time that they are working closely with the cellular companies on the issue. The IHC issued a notice and asked for a detailed reply from the authorities on this matter. After that, the court granted time to the mobile companies, and asked them to prepare a plan for the blockage of phones in the country, and directed PTA to solve this issue by collaborating with the cellular companies.
PTA launched the Mobile Devices Identification, Registration and Blocking Regulation System (DIRBS) last year, to block stolen, smuggled and duplicate mobile phones in Pakistan and gave a deadline to the public to get their mobile phones approved by the PTA as soon as possible. PTA later revealed that there are 3 million illegal smartphones in Pakistan, and began the process of blocking those phones from May of this year.