KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday filed leave to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court’s judgment for holding the local government elections within three months.
On May 18, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had directed the Sindh government to hold the local government elections within 90 days and also directed the Election Commission to announce the schedule for the same.
Being aggrieved with the SHC judgment, the Sindh government submitted that holding the local government elections was not possible as election requirements, including delimitation of constituencies and preparation of computerised electoral, were yet to be met.
The government submitted that due to the unprecedented flood and law and order situation in the province, it would be difficult to hold the local government elections as infrastructure could not be restored in some districts of the province.
The petition also relied on comments of the chief secretary stating that the Sindh Assembly passed an act in 2010 introducing Section 179-A regarding election of the local governments and appointment of the administrators. It stated that the assembly decided to enact a new law on pattern of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979 after coordination with other provinces and a committee of all stakeholders is working in this regard.
Besides, the provincial government submitted that general elections were also due in the first quarter of the next year and it would be appropriate that next local government elections were conducted after the general elections. It prayed to the court to set aside the SHC judgment on holding of the local government elections.
The provincial government failed to hold elections for the last three years in the name of amendment to the local government laws and former district Nazims Nasir Hussain Shah and Dr Raheela Magsi and the Local Council Association had filed a petition in the SHC in this regard. The petitioners contended that people’s right to franchise by forming local governments was being denied due to the prolonged delay in holding the local government elections.
The petitioners submitted in the petition that each provincial government was duty bound to establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibilities and authority to the elected representatives of the local government and non-holding of the local government elections was a violation of Articles 32, 140-A and 17(2) and 2-A of the Constitution. The SHC, while allowing these petitions through a short order on May 18, directed the Sindh government to hold the elections within 90 days.