LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed a petition of the Punjab Marriage Halls Association challenging the new restrictions on indoor functions with an increase in the cases of Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 pandemic.

The court observed that the matter pertained to government policy to control the spread of the pandemic and a petition against it was not maintainable.

The association, in its petition, said the decision of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to ban indoor weddings was discriminatory. It argued that educational institutions, transport service and other activities had been allowed to continue as usual but the industry of marriage halls had been subjected to discriminatory action.

The petition contended that the industry had already suffered huge financial losses due to the pandemic-related restrictions imposed by the government in the past.

It pleaded that the industry of banquet/marriage halls cannot sustain any further losses.

It asked the court to set aside the impugned notification issued by the NCOC. The NCOC on Jan 19 had banned indoor gatherings, weddings and dining in the districts and cities with Covid-19 positivity rate exceeding 10 per cent as part of new curbs meant to tackle the pandemic’s fifth wave being driven by the Omicron variant.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022

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