ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday turned down a writ petition seeking directives for the government to reopen educational institutions which were closed in March due to spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition after hearing arguments of the petitioner’s lawyer and ruled that this is a policy matter and that the court cannot meddle in executive affairs.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted before the court that his client had approached this court seeking reopening of education institutes but it directed him to approach relevant forums to have his grievance redressed. He added that the petitioner submitted applications to relevant departments in compliance with its order but to no avail.

He complained to the court that the government is not serious about resuming academic activities in the country and requested the court to issue directives for reopening educational institutions.

Justice Athar noted in its verdict, “It would be unreasonable for this Court to assume that the Federal Government is oblivious of the rights of all those stakeholders who are associated with private educational institutions.”

“It can also not be assumed that those who formulate policies may be indifferent and thus ignoring the interests of the stakeholders. Covid-19 has given rise to an extraordinary situation and the policy making decisions to deal with the crisis fall within the executive domain of the Executive,” he added.

The IHC Chief Justice maintained that the policies are formulated by the chosen representatives of the people and therefore, it cannot be presumed that they are ignoring the interests of the people.

“It is settled law that Courts do not interfere in policy matters of the Executive,” observed the bench. It declared, “the prayers sought in the petition are not justiciable and therefore, it is accordingly dismissed.”