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Peshawar

AA
Akhtar Amin
May 20, 2017

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PHC rules DDAC has no legal authority to interfere in uplift schemes by LGs

PHC rules DDAC has no legal authority to interfere in uplift schemes by LGs

Petition by PML-N MPA dismissed

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has declared that the District Development Advisory Committee (DDAC) of Provincial Assembly has no legal authority to interfere in the developmental schemes proposed and sanctioned by the local governments under the Local Government Act, 2013.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Muhammad Ayub Khan dismissed the writ petition of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Member Provincial Assembly Wali Muhammad Khan from Battagram. It was filed against the approved schemes of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf District Nazim, Battagram, in the Annual Development Programme (ADP).

Lawyers Shumail Ahmad Butt and Hazrat Bilal, Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad Khan and Additional Secretary Planning & Development Department Tanzeela Sabahat appeared in the case for the respondents.

In a detailed 32 pages judgment released on Friday, the high court said that the DDAC was merely an advisory body and it could not override areas where local governments were mandated under the Local Government Act.

The court further ruled that development projects included in the ADP and approved by the provincial assembly could not be agitated in a court of law being non-justiceable.

The PML-N lawmaker from the PK-59 Battagram constituency had sought the constitutional jurisdiction of the court. He had prayed the court that the petitioner be allowed to identify the feasible site to process PC-I and PC-II as per Development Scheme of 150845-Construction/ Improvement & blacktopping of (a) Internal roads of Battagram tehsil & (b) Thakot Bana Road via Kar Killay Koz Cheena District Battagram in ADP 2015/2016 reflected as ADP No.1151/150845 (2015-2016) and work be done only on those sites.

The lawmaker also prayed for setting aside identification of the projects by members of local council Battagram to be completed under ADP No.1151 as illegal, void ab initio and contrary to law. He also prayed that allocation of funds to non-members of the Provincial Assembly declared illegal and void.

The bench after detailed hearing and arguments from both the sides dismissed the writ petition citing various reasons.

The court held that all the developmental projects prepared by the P&D Department and placed for the approval of the assembly have to be voted upon and passed by a simple majority of the members of the assembly.

The court held that the objected scheme and the petitioner’s schemes were duly included in the ADP by the P&D Department and placed before the Provincial Assembly for its approval, which was duly accorded.

The court recorded the third reason for dismissing the petition and said the DDAC had no legal authority to interfere in the development schemes proposed and sanctioned by the Local Governments under LGA of 2013.

It held that the objected scheme and the petitioner’s scheme did not fall within 30 percent development budget allocated to the local governments.

“Act of 1989 does not provide any penalty or a consequence in failure to recommend the site or allocation of the project to be carried out in the district. Thus, the provision of recommending the site and allocation by DDAC is directory and not mandatory,” the court ruled.

 

 

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