Plea against order to turn hotels into quarantine centres dismissed

Plea against order to turn hotels into quarantine centres dismissed

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed a plea challenging the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) orders to turn three-star and four-star hotels into quarantine centres.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minullah announced his earlier reserved verdict on the plea.

The petitioner has stated that the NDMA is not authorized to take such a decision and the government should utilize places owned by it rather than turning to private properties.

In response to the petition, the IHC judge said that the government is taking measures for the protection of its people. “How can the court interfere then?” the CJ remarked.

“When it comes to protecting the people, the government can even use my home,” said Justice Athar Minullah.

The lawyer said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, hotel staff have been on leave since March 28.

The judge suggested that if the petitioner thinks the decision will cause damage to hotels, he can make a claim later on.

The court, in its written order, maintained that these are extra-ordinary times in which public interests supersede the individual rights.

The NDMA had earlier ordered that hotels across Pakistan need to be utilized as quarantine centres in case of an emergency, following which a private hotel had challenged the decision.

The petition had made party the home secretary, secretary health, NDMA chairman and the chief commissioner Islamabad.