Directions of Apex Court


THE Supreme Court on Monday set aside the federal government’s decision to close shops, markets and businesses on Saturdays and Sundays, saying it reflected no justifiable rationale. The SC order required the provincial governments to open all shopping malls without any hindrance or obstruction but ensure strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
It is appreciable that in view of the possible dangers, the apex court has not issued blanket orders for reopening as it directed the provincial governments to ensure adherence to safety precautions, which are being flouted both by businessmen and their customers sparking fear that this could lead to dramatic surge in infection cases in days to come. There is cautious reaction to the court orders with Information Minister Shibli Faraz terming it vindication of the stand of the PTI Government at the Centre to strike a balance between measures to check the spread of the virus and continuation of economic activity while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a tweet, has expressed the confidence that all judges would deliver verdicts based on facts and medical realities. The order of the court makes it abundantly clear that the direction is mainly based on apprehensions about implications of closure for a longer duration, the prospects of revival of the industry and businesses and possibility of flight of investment in a choked environment. However, the shutdown was not because of any change of economic policy and there was hardly any chance of entrepreneurs losing faith and pack up to some other destinations in the world when the situation is almost similar in all parts of the globe. The court has also referred to constitutional provisions safeguarding rights of the people but what about safety of life, which should be the number one priority.