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October 27, 2015

LG department-ECP agreement challenged in SHC


October 27, 2015

Agreement between the Sindh local government and the provincial election commissioner on not changing the status of 23 local bodies constituencies in 11 districts was challenged in the Sindh High Court on Monday.
Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Jam Shabbir and Chaudhry Basharat Mehmood, representatives of the Pakistan Muslim League N and the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional questioned the alleged agreement between the local government secretary and the election commissioner wherein they decided not to change the status of local constituencies despite a court order in a delimitation case.
Their counsel, Syed Mureed Ali Shah, submitted that the election authorities had informed the court on October 19 that issues over the delimitation of some union councils had been amicably resolved and polls in only 11 districts would be rescheduled due to the newly created union councils.
He said the ECP and the government placed on record a statement showing councils/constituencies on which there was alleged agreement between the local government department and the election commissioner not to change the status of the following constituencies: (i) TC Pannu Akil of Sukkur district, (ii) MC Mirpur Mathelo and TC Daharki of Ghotki district, (iii) MC Nawabshah and TC Daur of Nawabshah district now SBZ, (iv) TC Halani, TC Khanwahan, TC Dabhro, TC Mithiani, TC Mohabat Dero Jatoi and TC Bhoriti of Naushahro Feroze district, (v) MC Shahdadpur, TC Jam Nawaz Ali and TC Jatia of Sanghar district, (vi) Union Councils in Taluka Hussain Bux Mari, UC Mir Aachan and MC Shujaabad of Mirpurkhas district, (vii) adjustments of various dehs in six UCs of District Council of Tharparkar district, (viii) TC Husri, MC Qasimabad, UC 54 & UC 55 in HMC of Hyderabad district, (ix) MC Tando Allahyar of Tando Allahyar district, (x) UC Marho Jabal of Jamshoro district and (xi) Union Councils in Malir of Malir district, and disagreement between Respondent No.3 and Respondents No.1 & 2 over the

constituencies in (i) TC Piryaloi and TC Karoondi of Khairpur district, (ii) MC Tando Adam of Sanghar district, (iii) UC Phullahdyoon & TC Naukot of Mirpurkhas district, (iv) MC Mithi of Tharparkar district, (v) MC Tando Jam of Hyderabad district and (vi) TC Sann & TC Manjhand of Jamshoro distrct.
The counsel said the alleged understanding was illegal and amounted to reviewing the court order issued on September 18 by the SHC on the delimitation of local constituencies related to rural and urban issues.
He submitted that the respondents had committed a fraud by collusively filing a petition on behalf of the local government secretary who did not implead the petitioner and other aggrieved persons as respondents and intentionally and deliberately did not invite aggrieved persons for consultation or offer a hearing opportunity.
He said the respondents filed an alleged agreement report with malafide intentions with the court and later with ulterior motives withdrew the petition.
The counsel said the local government secretary in a malafide, arbitrary and whimsical manner had been creating, constituting, reconstituting a new tapedar circle, a supervisory tapedar circle, union councils, town committees, union committees, municipal committees, talukas, sub-divisions, districts and divisions and altering the boundary limits thereof under the garb of Section 6 of the Land Revenue Act and Section 10 of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.
He alleged that this exercise was being undertaken by the local government secretary intentionally and solely to manipulate the revenue boundaries as well as declaring rural areas into urban and annexed with any council of an urban area or vice versa in order to achieve their nefarious political gain.
He requested the court to declare that the alleged agreement was completely unconstitutional and in violation of court orders.
The court was also requested to issue a writ directing the respondents to implement the court order of September 18 forthwith by issuing a notification to that effect, and suspend the operation of the impugned alleged agreement/report.

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