LHC declares obtaining phone data without consent of accused, magistrate ‘illegal’

Lahore High Court.  - LHC website
Lahore High Court. – LHC website
  • The LHC acquitted the accused belonging to the extremist organization.
  • Judge says phones are like our house, relationships are within its walls.
  • He says that the allegation of sharing the material has not been proved.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ruled that extracting mobile phone data without the consent of the accused or the magistrate presiding over the case is illegal as per Article 13 (protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination) of the Constitution. news informed of.

The verdict came during the hearing of a case of Rahmatullah, who was sentenced to jail on charges of being associated with an extremist organization and spreading banned material, giving him the benefit of doubt.

A two-member bench of Justice Ali Bakar Najafi and Justice Amjad Rafiq acquitted the convict. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an anti-terrorism court.

The court said that extracting mobile data without consent is against the right to privacy. If the accused is not willing, at least the permission of the magistrate should be sought to take the phone records, the court said.

“In this modern age, we communicate with our near and dear ones through audio and video. Our phones are no less than our home, every relationship kept within the four walls of our home enjoys constitutional protection,” the court said.

It said that people read books, use Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, which is not prohibited by law. As long as a person wants to keep his information confidential on the phone, that information cannot be extracted without his permission or legal instructions. The court said that if the necessary information is giving a link to an offence, it can be brought to the notice of the court within 24 hours.

The allegation of distribution of material by the prosecution has not been proved by any evidence, the alleged material from the mobile was not placed before the accused during the statement of any of the witnesses, the court concluded while acquitting the accused.


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