CJP Gulzar Ahmed, family test negative for coronavirus

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court in a statement on Tuesday said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, his family and his secretary all tested negative for the coronavirus.

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The statement added that the top judge’s tests were conducted after an employee of the court developed symptoms of Covid-19, following which he was put under quarantine as a suspected coronavirus patient.

The employee, a Naib Qasid at the apex court, had first tested negative for the virus, but the result was “doubtful” and another test was conducted which turned out to be positive, the statement read.

The employee has now been isolated at a polyclinic in Islamabad.

Earlier in the day, reports circulated on local media that an employee in the CJP’s chamber had tested positive. However, the statement did not clarify whether the coronavirus-positive employee worked in the chief justice’s chamber but merely referred to him as an “employee of the Supreme Court”.

Meanwhile, a five-member bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed held the second hearing on Monday of a suo motu case on the measures taken by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The top court assailed the federal and Sindh governments for not demonstrating a clear vision and warned of a looming chaos and anarchy if extreme steps like lockdown were taken without a proper backup plan to cater to people’s needs.

“The situation of this magnitude demands consensus and uniformity, but the provincial governments are going in a different direction, while the central government on the other,” observed Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed during the hearing.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin observed that the court was not concerned about the governance matters but expressing legitimate concern as there was a big question mark on the implementation of government’s policies on social distancing and other things.

The court will take up the matter again on Monday next week.

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