SHC issues notices on petition against Sindh govt’s ‘failure’

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the Sindh chief secretary and other official respondents to furnish their response on a petition against the provincial government’s “failure” to ensure implementation of the Centre’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for congregational prayers.

Headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, a division bench of the high court was hearing the petition that also sought to strike down the 18th constitutional amendment. It directed the respondents to come up with their replies by May 7.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Mazhar said the standard operating procedures (SOPs) devised at a national level should be implemented, questioning why mosques are being shut in the province.

He further questioned why the SOPs devised by President Arif Alvi after a meeting with ulema are not being followed.

The petitioner stated before the judges that the Sindh government doesn’t act upon the Centre’s directives, citing the 18th constitutional amendment and requested the court to declare it void.

At this, Justice Mazhar observed the SHC lacks the powers to strike down the constitutional amendment as it is up to members of the legislatures to enact legislation. He added the court could not issue any orders with regard to the amendment.

Subsequently, the petitioner took back his plea for annulment of the constitutional amendment.

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