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July 19, 2013

SC directs provinces to hold LB polls in Sept

July 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all the provincial advocate generals to hold the local bodies elections in September and delay of even a single day would not be tolerated in this regard.
The SC also directed them to provide by July 22 the final date for holding the local bodies elections in their respective provinces.The court also directed the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to file statements determining the final date for the local bodies polls across the country.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the case pertaining to the law and order situation in Balochistan.
The chief justice observed that the local government elections would provide a mechanism to approach the people in order to resolve their issues.During the proceedings, the ECP representative contended that 90 days would be required to hold the LB elections across the country.
At this, the CJ reiterated that September and delay even for a single day would not be allowed, saying under the Article 219-B of the Constitution, the ECP should not be reluctant to hold the elections.
Deputy Attorney General Dil Muhammad Alizai submitted that the ICT administration was ready to hold LB elections in the rural and urban areas.
In pursuance of court’s last order, Punjab Advocate General Mustafa Ramday sought 90 days time to hold LB elections in the province, saying new administrative tehsils and districts were created, subsequently area-wise delimitation was mandatory and the exercise required more time.
The chief justice remarked what the hurdle in delimitation in the province had been since five years under the same leadership that continued in consequence of current general election.
The Sindh additional advocate general requested the bench to give five months time to hold LB

polls in the province, submitting that legislative business as well as delimitation was involved in the process.
The chief justice, however, told the official to file a statement, contending that the province was unable to hold local government elections despite the fact that the same chief minister and the party was in the province and then the court would pass the order in the instant case.
The counsel for Balochistan Government, Ayaz Swati, prayed for short adjournment in the matter to seek instructions form Provincial Advocate General Shakil Baloch.
Syed Arshad Hussain, Additional Advocate General, KP, told the court that the government was ready and willing to hold the LB polls in pursuance of the ECP schedule.Later, the court adjourned the hearing till July 22.

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