HYDERABAD (app): The Sindh High Court has rejected another 356 petitions filed by the eateries seeking exemption from Ehtram-e-Ramazan Ordinance, 1981, following a similar order last week in which 262 petitions were dismissed.

The Hyderabad Circuit Bench comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Fahim Ahmed Siddiqui underlined that the ordinance’s section 5 had restricted exemptions to only certain places.

Such places include a canteen or a kitchen in a hospital; a restaurant, a canteen or a stall on the premises of a railway station, airport, seaport, train, aircraft or bus stand; and a kitchen or a canteen in a primary school.

“Since in all the petitions, the places mentioned do not fall within exemption given under Section 5 of the Ordinance, therefore, all the petitions are dismissed,” the SHC’s order reads.

Furthermore, the Hyderabad Circuit Bench directed all the District and Session Judges in the province as well as all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that no restaurant, hotel, stall or tea shop operated during the hours of fasting.

The Justices also ordered Hyderabad’s Deputy Commissioner not to allow any restaurant, hotel, stall or tea shop which operated in the public places to open during the hours of fasting.

The court asked the eateries which do not fall under Section 5 of the Ordinance to approach the Deputy Commissioners to seek permission. The petitioners had maintained that their eateries were located along the bus stops. However, the SHC clarified that the Ordinance only allowed the eateries to operate within the premises of the bus stands. The Justices observed: “it doesn’t mean the roadside bus stop or layover which is a point where a bus stops for boarding or alighting passengers during transition between terminus.”