Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court reserved judgement on Friday regarding the maintainability of a plea against the conversion of hotels into quarantine facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minullah heard the request after the National Disaster Management Authority issued an order to convert three- and four-star hotels into quarantine centers.
The applicant argued in the application that NDMA has no right to take such a decision and that the government should use the buildings it owns instead of turning to private property.
“Why does the government not use the prime minister’s home instead?” said the petitioner.
In response to the petition, an IHC judge said the government was taking steps to protect its people. “So how does the court intervene?” He said.
“When it comes to protecting the people, the government can even use my home,” he further said.
The petitioner attorney stated that fundamental rights are not suspended even in the event of a constitutional emergency.
Lawyers say that hotel staff have been on leave since March 28 because of an outbreak of the corona virus.
The judge suggested that if the petitioner believed that the decision would cause harm to the hotel, he could later make a claim.
NDMA previously ordered the use of hotels across Pakistan as quarantine centers in emergency situations, and a privately owned hotel questioned the decision.
The petition appoints Islamabad, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Health, the chairman of the NDMA and the chief of police.