CJP Gulzar Ahmed orders opening of shopping malls across Pakistan

CJP Gulzar Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Monday ordered the reopening of shopping malls across the country, which were 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 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.

During the hearing today, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed remarked that if the shops are shut down then shopkeepers will ‘die of hunger rather than the coronavirus’.

CJP Ahmed said that in Karachi, except for five big malls every market has resumed operations.

Upon which, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani said that a few markets were sealed for not following the Standard Operating Procedures laid out by the government.

“The sealed markets should be opened and instead of intimidating them (shop owners) make them understand (the situation and SOPs),” remarked the top judge.

The apex court also ordered that on the weekends, all the small markets should remain open to public.

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.

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