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SC orders opening of shopping malls across country

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the opening of shopping malls across the country, ARY News reported.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, the apex court bench declared the government’s decision to keep the businesses closed on Saturday and Sunday void.

The bench was seized with the hearing of the coronavirus suo moto notice case. Other members of the bench were Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed.

The chief justice questioned “rationale” behind closing the markets on the weekend.

“You don’t want to purchase clothes but others do,” the country’s top adjudicator remarked while pointing to officials appearing before the court in the case. He added there are a lot of families that buy new clothes only on the occasion of Eid.

Read More: Dialogue fails, deadlock continues between Sindh govt, traders

The apex court directed Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani to allow all the markets in the port city to resume operations and restrained the city administration from sealing shops and business centres.

The court further instructed the commissioner to open the markets that had been sealed over the violation of the government-prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The top judge directed the city administration to ensure implementation of the SOPs instead of sealing the markets.

CJP Gulzar observed small traders may die of hunger if they are not allowed to do business.

Read More: Punjab govt plans to extend business closure timing: sources

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