Wednesday December 06, 2023

LHC orders two weekly offs for Punjab educational institutions

By News Desk
November 21, 2023
View of the LHC building in Lahore. — LHC website
View of the LHC building in Lahore. — LHC website

LAHORE: In a bid to help curb smog, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the government to implement two days weekly off for public schools, colleges and universities and all other educational institutions till the end of January next year, the Geo News reported.

The LHC also ordered two-day work from home imposed on private-sector companies. LHC’s Justice Shahid Karim issued the directives in a three-page order on pleas seeking the court’s intervention in tackling smog in the province. The order acknowledged that the caretaker Punjab government had “announced measures such as closure of schools and colleges on Saturdays,” in line with the court directives. However, the court noted that the notification should not have been issued under the provisions of the Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act, 2020. It added that the Lahore deputy commissioner’s decision to issue the notification under the Punjab National Calamities (Prevention and Relief) Act, 1958 should have been taken into consideration.

The court explained that the 1958 law was appropriate and that could be used to “place a restriction on the movements of public and to close and shut down schools and colleges”. “It is, therefore, directed that any such notification to be issued either by the Secretary, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Government of Punjab, or by the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Lahore, shall be issued in consultation with the Members of the Commission. Further, it is directed that the notification shall mention at least closure of public schools, colleges and universities and all educational institutions for each Saturday till the end of January 2024,” said the order.

The court also ordered that two-day work from home should be imposed on private sector companies and ordered the exclusion of gyms from the notification as it was a “continuation of Covid-19 restrictions”.