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Court orders release of 300 people held for SOP violations

Three hundred people arrested for not complying with the lockdown restrictions and the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) were ordered to be released by a court on Monday.

District South Judicial Magistrate Uzair Ali Khan ordered the release of all the detainees on humanitarian grounds, and declared the first information reports (FIRs) registered against them null and void.

Expressing displeasure over the production of the suspects without masks, the judge reprimanded the police for flouting the Covid-19 SOPs themselves, and observed that they should also be arrested for this.

The court asked the investigating officer who had ordered the registration of FIRs against the citizens under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and sought a reply in writing.

The section reads that if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, the person will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to six months, or with fine that may extend to Rs3,000 or with both.

The judge observed that the officers who had ordered the registration of such FIRs would be summoned to court for explanation, and ordered the release of all the detainees and quashed the cases registered against them.

Action against violations

The District South administration took action against violators of the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) late on Sunday night and on Monday in various areas under their jurisdiction and made several arrests.

According to the details shared by District South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Sodhar’s office, a few violators were fined and several others were arrested on Sunday.

The Garden assistant commissioner sealed a beauty salon and two auto workshops, fined them Rs15,000 and arrested two people. The Saddar Mukhtiarkar sealed a shoe shop in Saddar, while Lyari Mukhtiarkar Saleem Gidani arrested 15 violators from the Shah Bhittai and Shah Wilayat areas and fined them Rs30,000.

The Civil Lines Mukhtiarkar sealed two beauty salons in DHA’s Rahat Commercial area for not complying with the lockdown timings. Saddar Town Assistant Commissioner Shirina Junejo sealed a bakery, a shoe shop, a few tea kiosks and several other shops in the town.

The assistant commissioner monitored SOP arrangements at the Cantt Station and also sealed two salons in DHA Phase-VIII. Arambagh Assistant Commissioner Mashal Naeem sealed a children’s amusement arcade, a salon and several other shops in Kharadar in the presence of police and arrested two people as well.

On Monday, Garden Assistant Commissioner Dr Mohsin arrested seven people in Nabi the Bakhsh area for violating the Covid-19 SOPs and fined them Rs10,000. He also sealed two shops and a tuition centre and arrested its manager. The Saddar assistant commissioner also sealed various shops in Hazara Colony. The Lyari assistant commissioner sealed various shops, the Sunaar Bazaar and the cloth market on Bihar Colony’s Bhittai Road. An electronic shop was also sealed by the Saddar Mukhtiarkar.