Supreme Court of Pakistan- Taking suo motu notice of the measures taken by the Federal Government and Provincial Governments to tackle the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 pandemic, the full Judge Bench of Gulzar Ahmad, CJ, and Ijaz ul Ahsan, Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, JJ., laid emphasis on the creation of a legislation at the national level to combat the emergencies and situation arising due to the spread of Covid-19.
Perusing the reports filed by the National Health Services and Research Centre (NHSRC), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) etc. the Court analysed took stock of the measures taken by these departments to tackle the current crisis. The Court further noted the submission made by Khalid Javed Khan, (Attorney General of Pakistan) who stated that National Coordination Committee (NCC) made a unanimous policy dated 01-06-2020 for dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Court made further observations such as- cases of violation of citizens’ fundamental rights by the Executive; unavailability of safety kits for sanitary workers; and recent infestation and attack by locusts crops and agricultural fields.
For the aforementioned observations, the Court directed the Federal Government, the Provincial Governments, the Cantonment Boards and other concerned authorities to ensure that sanitary workers are not made to work beyond their call of duty and the Government instead of jeopardising their health, should work tirelessly to ensure that safety kits are made available to the sanitary workers and effective measures should be taken to protect their health and life. The Court also directed the NDMA to file a report regarding all the laboratories which are operating all over Pakistan and are providing testing facility for COVID-19. Vis-à-vis the locusts’ attack on the crops, the Court directed the concerned authorities to provide details as to the number of helicopters that have been deployed to spray insecticide over the affected areas. [Suo Motu Action Regarding Combating the Pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19), 2020 SCC OnLine Pak SC 1 , decided on 08-06-2020]