LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a direction for 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 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 allowed almost all businesses since the traders had been facing severe financial problem. He said the government should be directed to help the owners of the amusement parks for their survival in the time of crisis.

He argued if the parks remained closed for long time, it would lead to economic murder of thousands of employees of petitioner-association members.

The counsel asked the court to allow operation of the amusement parks under the government announced SOPs on 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 parks closure due to the coronavirus pandemic was a policy decision of the government in the best interest of public at large. He said the court could not interfere in the policy affairs.

Moreover, the chief justice noted that the Supreme Court had already taken a suo motu notice on the pandemic-related lockdown issue.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020