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    Pakistan Supreme Court dismisses government’s pleas, orders to open shopping malls and markets

    Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered that shopping malls and markets in the country should be allowed to open seven days a week. The apex court said that shopkeepers in the country would die of hunger instead of the corona virus and the infection would not end in a day or two. Markets and shopping malls in Pakistan were closed during the lockdown enforced to prevent infection with the corona virus epidemic.

    A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Gulzar Ahmed took automatic cognizance of the measures taken to deal with the infection. During the hearing, Justice Ahmed said that if the shops remained closed, the shopkeepers would die of hunger instead of the corona virus. Rejecting the provincial government’s plea to keep the markets closed over the weekend to prevent infection, he said that shutting down business on a particular day of the week is a violation of the constitution.

    Justice Ahmed said that the corona virus will not end in a day or two. What is the rationale for keeping the market closed on Saturday and Sunday? The CJI also questioned the pleas given for the closure of the mall and ordered that markets and shopping malls should be open seven days a week.

    There have been more than 42,000 cases of corona virus infection in Pakistan and more than 900 people have died. The Chief Justice said that the provinces should not create obstacles in opening shopping malls after getting permission from the Ministry of Health. The court hopes that the Health Ministry will not create any non-essential bottlenecks and allow the business to open. During the hearing, the Sindh province government expressed reluctance to open the mall but the court overruled the objection.


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