Islamabad; 18 May 2020 – The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered on Monday that shopping malls and markets should remain open seven days a week, which were earlier shut down during the lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
The five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court was hearing a suo moto case regarding measures taken against the virus outbreak.
The bench was headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed while Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed were also on the bench.
Today, the court also ordered the reopening of shopping malls across the country.
The top court called the report presented by the NDMA unsatisfactory, saying that the country’s resources were being utilized in ‘a wrong manner’.
“Why has not our country gained the capability to produce its own testing kits?” he said to the representative of the NDMA.
To which the NDMA official responded that the Health Ministry can give a better response in the matter.
The CJP objected that there was no proper detail present regarding the expenditure of funds for anti-coronavirus measures.
The CJP remarked that the people of the country were not ‘servants’ of the Centre and provincial governments, adding that the citizens ‘are being held hostage in the name of quarantine’.
The top judge told the authority’s representative that the rights if the people are guaranteed in the Constitution and the government is not doing anyone ‘a favour’ by rendering its services.
The top court picked up the case to keep a review on the measures taken by the Centre and provincial governments to stem the spread of the virus among people.
So far, the top court has summoned officials from provinces, NDMA, Health department, and local government setup in cities to present a report on the policy and implementation of measures.