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IHC issues judgment on plea challenging NCOC ban on indoor weddings

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday disposed of a petition challenging the ban on indoor gatherings at wedding halls imposed by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) in wake of the Covid-19 second wave.

A single bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued an 8-page written verdict in a case related to the ban on indoor events at wedding halls.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah announced a verdict on the petition of the Islamabad Marquee Association.

The court in its verdict said the decisions taken in the 19th meeting of the Committee held on 16.11.2020, appear to be reasonable and thus binding.

“It is the duty of every citizen and public functionary throughout Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Territory and Gilgit/Baltistan Region to implement and facilitate the implementation of the decisions taken by the Committee in letter and spirit,” the IHC’s judgment in the case read.

The judgment stated that the decisions of the Committee are binding and not justiciable by a judicial forum.

Read: PM Imran announces to ban public meetings amid second wave of COVID-19

During the hearing of the case held earlier today, the IHC chief justice also commented on the recent election in Gilgit-Baltistan and said what took place in the region was “discriminatory behavior”.

“Influential people are still cared for but the poor are made to come out in public for rallies during the pandemic,” the IHC chief justice remarked.

On November 6, the NCOC placed a ban on gatherings at wedding halls. However, it allowed people to hold weddings in open spaces with a maximum of 1,000 attendees.

The decision was aimed at stemming the second wave of the coronavirus. Besides, the NCOC called for cutting workforce at government and private offices in half. It instructed that only 50 per cent of the employees be allowed to work at offices while the rest from home.

It may be noted that Pakistan reported fresh 2,208 COVID-19 cases and 37 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), with fresh inclusion of the infections in the country the national tally of cases now currently stands at 363,380, whereas, the active cases stood at 30,362.

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