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IHC dismisses petition challenging ‘NAP for Coronavirus Disease Pakistan’

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Monday, dismissed a petition challenging “National Action Plan for Coronavirus Disease Pakistan”.

Irum Malik has invoked the jurisdiction of the IHC under Article 199 of the Constitution challenging the “National Action Plan for Corona Virus Disease Pakistan”.

Irum, appearing in person, contended that the scientific reasons stated in the National Action Plan as the basis for the origins of the life threatening virus are contrary to the Holy Quran.

A single bench of Chief Justice, Athar Minallah, who heard the case, inquired from the petitioner whether she was qualified to interpret the injunctions of Islam, the Quranic verses, and whether she had the requisite knowledge of “Usulul Fiqh” i.e. the prescribed principles for deriving a “hukam” from the sources.

The CJ IHC noted that she did not appear to be familiar with the “Usulul Fiqh” nor could she satisfy this Court that she was qualified to interpret the Holy Quran on her own and thus, derive a “hukam” on the basis thereof.

The court noted that the petitioner was visibly oblivious of the elaborate rules and principles i.e. “Usulul Fiqh”, the knowledge whereof is a pre-requisite to even make an attempt to interpret the prime source of Islam, which is the Holy Quran.

Justice Minallah observed that the petitioner has attempted to raise an unwarranted controversy regarding the policy and efforts of the federal government aimed at protecting the lives of its citizens.

The principles of interpretation and the tools for deriving a “hukam”, command or shariah, from the recognised sources such as the Holy Quran or Sunnah (traditions of the Holy Prophet, (peace be upon him)) are based on the premise or foundation of “preservation of life”.

The judgment noted that the “Life” has been declared as the most important because it is the best creation of Allah, the Creator.

Life is not restricted to human life but includes all forms of life including a breathing animal and a plant.

It is not in public interest to make an attempt of raising unnecessary and unwarranted controversy regarding the National Action Plan and the efforts of the federal government to protect its citizens from the harm of the deadly virus i.e. Covid-19 and that too on the basis of interpretation of the Holy Quran by persons who are neither qualified to do so, nor are familiar with the principles of interpretation i.e. “Usulul Fiqh”.

The judgment stated that the jurisdiction vested in a High Court under Article 199 of the Constitution does not empower it nor makes it competent to assume the role of a “Mujtahid” by rendering a declaration regarding the interpretation of the Holy Quran and that too on the basis of assertions made by a citizen not familiar with “Usulul Fiqh”.

The petitioner is challenging the scientific research and findings relating to the virus i.e. Covid-19 and she has thus, unjustifiably attempted to raise a controversy by wrongfully exploiting Islam and verses of the Holy Quran.

This irresponsible conduct may have profound consequences because it could unnecessarily raise doubts and concerns in the minds of the general public on the basis of the petitioner’s interpretation of verses of the Holy Quran for which she lacks competence.

The conduct of the petitioner is deprecated.

The Court dismissed the petition in limine and imposed Rs20,000, fine on the petitioner for attempting to make the policies of the Federal Government controversial and to impede the measures taken by the latter to protect the citizens of Pakistan from the harm of the deadly virus i.e. Covid-19.

The petitioner is directed to deposit the amount of cost with the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) of this Court.

The amount of costs shall be utilised for payment of expenses/fee to counsels appointed by this Court in the pending Jail Appeals.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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