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LHC full bench to hear pleas against LG law

Lahore

May 15, 2019

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim on Tuesday constituted a three-member full bench to hear and decide the petitions challenging the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 passed recently by Punjab Assembly.

The full bench comprising Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Jawad Hassan would start its proceedings soon. Justice Sheikh as a single bench had taken up last week several petitions against the new legislation and referred the matter to the chef justice with a request to form a larger bench in view of important questions of law involved in it.

Former Lahore’s Lord Mayor Mubashir Javed, nine deputy mayors, former chairman of district council of Narowal Ahmad Iqbal, son of former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, were among the petitioners. On Tuesday, Justice Sheikh took up another identical petition moved by former minister and National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) Chairman Danyal Aziz and referred it to the full bench. The petitioners mainly contended that the PLGA 2019 through its section 3 dissolved the previous local governments before the expiry of their constitutional term of five years.

They said the new law did not provide definite period for the next election and the provincial government intended to appoint bureaucrats as administrators to fill the vacuum created after dissolution of the sitting set up.

They argued that the dissolution of local governments in mid-tenure was a blatant violation of Article 140-A of the Constitution which promised the creation of autonomous local governments. They contended that the appointment of bureaucrats as solo administrators of districts amounted to a complete roll back of the devolution process, which Articles 32 and 140-A of Constitution did not allow.

The petitioners asked the court to declare that all elected to office under PLGA-2013 were entitled to complete their constitutional term and suspend the operation of the PLGA-2019 till completion of the term of the sitting set-up.

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