The Islamabad High Court has dismissed a petition challenging the government’s decision to turn private hotels into quarantine centres.
The petition has been filed by Advocate Sikandar Bashir on behalf of Hotel Margala.
The federal government has taken several measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, reads the judgement. “The measures taken by the government and other authorities are obviously to safeguard the public at large and their fundamental rights,” it adds.
The court said that “it cannot be ruled out that interference by this Court with the decisions of the federal government may risk jeopardising the interests of the public.”
The petitioner’s lawyer asked why the government isn’t turning private properties into quarantine centres. “Why can’t the PM use his private property as a quarantine centre?”
When it comes to national safety, the government can even use my house if they want, said Chief Justice Athar Minallah. “The government is taking all steps for the safety of the people, how can we intervene?”
He asked if there are examples of other countries in which courts have intervened in the steps taken to curb the spread of coronavirus. If the private hotels think that they will incur losses because of this, and then they ask for compensation later on, the judge remarked
On March 22, the National Disaster Management Authority proposed that private hotels should be converted into quarantine centres for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country.