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

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued a stay order effective till May 27 as the court took up the petition today filed by a mobile phone company challenging the government’s decision to block SIMs of non-filers.

Salman Akram Raja, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, was the petitioner’s counsel and gave forward the argument that the amendment in the law is at odds with Article 18 of the Constitution which guarantees freedom to do business.

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The High Court order came out after the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and telecom operators agreed on blocking of SIMs of tax non-filers in a bid to reduce tax evasion and improve revenue.

FBR had announced that telecom companies have agreed to commence the manual blocking process of SIMs in small batches until their systems are fully equipped to automate it.

It also announced initially 5,000 non-filers would be targeted and then further more batches would be sent to telecom operators.