Thursday June 13, 2024

IHC disposes of Islamabad LG-polls pleas after ECP's assurance

ECP assures IHC of conducting local government elections in federal capital in 120 days

By Web Desk
March 02, 2023
A general view of Islamabad High Court. — IHC website
A general view of Islamabad High Court. — IHC website

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) disposed of on Thursday the intra-court appeals filed against the local government (LG) polls in the federal capital after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) assured that elections will be held within 120 days.

A single-member bench of the court had ordered to conduct local government elections in Islamabad on December 31, 2022, while nullifying ECP's decision to postpone the local bodies (LB) polls. However, the electoral body and federal government challenged the verdict before the division bench via intra-court appeals.

Today, a two-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq conducted the hearing of the intra-court appeals.

"The legislation has been done. Are the 125 UCs still there," Justice Farooq asked.

The justice said that the government has kept the authority of further increasing the number of UCs to itself.

"In my opinion, there won't be a need of increasing the UCs for 10 years," he said, adding that the LG elections should be conducted at once.

At this, the ECP officials assured the court of holding the LG-polls in Islamabad within 120 days.

The court then asked the interior secretary if he would give a statement that the government will not increase the number of UCs before the elections.

"If you don't give this statement, we'll order that the UCs cannot be increased," the court remarked.

At this, the ECP officials said that the electoral body will give the schedule of LG polls after conducting new delimitation.

"A Supreme Court judgment has also given a verdict regarding the polls," ECP's director general law said in reference to the apex court's ruling in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa election suo motu case.

At this, Justice Farooq said that it was a matter of the provincial assembly elections.

On this, the ECP officials said that the commission was bound to consult with the federal government for LG polls as well.

After the completion of arguments and assurance by ECP, the IHC disposed of the intra-court appeals of the ECP and the government.