IHC dismisses plea seeking ban on political, religious gatherings

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a petition seeking a ban on political and religious gatherings due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

While announcing the reserved verdict, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah termed the petition non-maintainable. Despite guidelines issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the public refuses to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs), the chief justice remarked and added that why should the court intervene if society cannot take responsibility for its actions.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah said that the courts have “already given out instructions and it is up to the executive to implement it. But no one is carrying out the order and the government is busy engaging in politics.”

The Chief Justice further said that there is a parliament here, there are executives, no one is following the court order and everyone is involved in politics, so why should we intervene.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that civil society is also not fulfilling its responsibility, the petitioner should trust the parliament, only then a solution can be found, such cases should not come to court.

He advised the petitioner to trust the Parliament and executive authorities for the resolution of such issues. The court can’t use additional constitutional power, therefore, the Parliament and executives should play role in uniting the nation to deal with coronavirus challenges, he remarked.

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