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Plea to open parks on Eid dismissed

Lahore

May 22, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking directions to the provincial government to open parks and recreational places on the eve of Eidul Fitr as they had been closed due to coronavirus related lockdown.

A local association of the recreational and amusement parks filed the petition pleading that it had been over three months that the government ordered closure of all parks in the province due to the pandemic.

The association’s counsel said the government had eased the lockdown and permitted almost all businesses since the traders had been facing severe financial problem.

He argued that if the parks remained closed for long time it would lead to economic murder of the thousands of employees of parks. The counsel asked the court to allow operation of the amusement parks under the government announced SOPs on the eve of Eidul Fitr and afterward.

“Do you want the court to issue you a licence to kill children?” Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan asked the petitioner’s counsel. The chief justice observed that the closure of the parks due to the coronavirus pandemic was a policy decision of the government in the best interest of the general public. He said the court could not interfere in the policy affairs. Moreover, the chief justice noted that the Supreme Court had already taken suo motu notice on the pandemic related lockdown issue.

needy lawyers: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court seeking direction to Punjab Bar Council to release Rs100,000 each to needy lawyers from benevolent fund. A local lawyer Attaur Rehman has moved the petition through Khurram Latif Khosa.

The petitioner said in the petition that courts normal functioning had been suspended for more than two months and lawyers had been limited to homes due to Coronavirus lockdown. He said that due to closure of courts and non hearing of regular cases, a large number of lawyers had been facing financial constraints.

He said a benevolent fund was set up by Punjab Bar Council under Legal practitioners & Bar Councils Act, 1973 and lawyers deposit their dues regularly in the funds.

He pointed out that federal and provincial governments had issued relief package for all sections of the society but the lawyers had been left in lurch. He said that he moved an application to Punjab Bar Council for release of Rs100,000 to him from benevolent fund but no heed had been paid to it so far. He requested the court to issue directions to Punjab Bar Council to release Rs100,000 each to lawyers.