Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath on Monday ensured that private properties of individuals will be protected by the state, in response to concerns over the government's decision to utilize private residences to quarantine individuals amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The government recently came under fire for the newly released guidelines by the Ministry of Health on Sunday, which empowers the state to utilize private residences as quarantine centres under Article 37 of the Public Health Protection Bill, as part of the nationally declared State of Public Health Emergency. Critics claim the decision as unconstitutional.
The Attorney General responded to the allegations, referencing Article 40 of the Constitution, which allows the state to legally acquire private residences for the good of the public.
Moreover, he stated that the law mandates that landowners be adequately compensated. A building may be utilized for the state for no more than 12 months. Those who refuse to comply will be ordered to do so by a court of law.
Health Ministry can order a handover of a building if there is a direct threat of dangerous disease spreading and/or if the building is necessary to quarantine or isolate individuals in relation to a dangerous sickness.