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July 10, 2019

JI moves court against changes to LG Act

Peshawar

July 10, 2019

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Tuesday challenged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government (Amendment) Act 2019 wherein the government has brought about drastic changes, including control of many devolved departments and abolition of the district tier.

JI provincial head Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and MPA Inayatullah Khan filed the petition through Ghulam Mohyuddin Malik advocate and Muhammad Farooq Malik.

In the petition, it was submitted that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly through KP LG (Amendment) Act, 2019 has brought drastic changes to the LG Act 2013.

Through the amendment, it said, the provincial government wanted to return the control of many devolved departments to the government and abolish the district tier of the LG system.

The petitioners said the new system consists of tehsils as well as village and neighbourhood councils after the abolition of the district councils.

They said the Tehsil and City Councils, under the amended law, will be granted additional financial and administrative powers to impose a penalty at a large scale.

The Jamaat-e-Islami leaders submitted that the provincial government in a major policy shift has decided to abolish the district government, the most effective tier of the existing

local government system and it is uncertain, who would be the administrative head of the 20 devolved departments headed by the District Nazim under the KP LG Act 2013.

“It is also very fatal change in the system under the newly adopted act that Tehsil Mayor would be elected directly by the masses, while under LG Act 2013, the tehsil councilors used to elect tehsil nazim,” the petition added.

The petitioners said the abolition of the District Government is a direct violation of the Article 140-A of Constitution and meant to give sweeping powers to bureaucracy by removing the district tier of the Local Government System and return the control of over 10 devolved departments at the district level to the government.

They said the purpose of the impugned amendment is to give the powers of the District Council and District Nazim to the Tehsil Government, while the rest will be given to the provincial government.

The petitioners submitted that the erstwhile KP LG Act 2013 had devolved 24 departments to District Government from the provincial government.

However, they said the provincial government kept interfering in the affairs of the District Government domain and the control of six departments was given to the provincial government by amending

the law on different occasions, leaving District Government with 18 departments during the previous tenure of the PTI government.

The petitioners said by introducing the impugned amendment to the law, the provincial government has snatched the control of 10 more departments from districts and returned them to the provincial government.

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