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April 7, 2021

Lahore District Assembly session held on stairs of locked Town Hall building

National

April 7, 2021

LAHORE: For the first time in the history of Lahore, elected representatives of Lahore’s District Assembly held a session on the stairs of Town Hall as it was locked on the directions of Lahore Commissioner Capt Usman (R), who is also the administrator of Municipal Corporation Lahore (MCL).

Over 160 elected representatives from the PML-N reached the Town Hall Tuesday morning and found the gates locked and a large number of policemen were guarding the only entrance. Lord Mayor Col Mubashar (retd) was leading the PML-N local government’s representatives from Lahore. The police tried to stop them from entering the main premises but they managed to get in.

The entrance to the main building of Town Hall was also locked and no senior official was present in their offices. The hall where District Assembly meetings are held is on the upper portion of Town Hall building so the PML-N local government representatives sat on the stairs outside the locked entrance. Col Mubashar (retd) convened the first meeting of District Assembly, after the Supreme Court restored the local governments in a recent judgement.

The meeting passed three resolutions in which they thanked the Supreme Court for restoring the local government system, which the PTI government had rolled back through an ordinance.

In the second resolution, the house demanded the Punjab government implement the short order of the Supreme Court. It said the Punjab government was bound under Article 148 of the Constitution to facilitate the local governments, and non-implementation of the order of the apex court was contempt of court.

In the third resolution, the District Assembly asked all the authorities concerned, including the chief justice of Supreme Court, chief justice of the Lahore High Court, the Punjab governor, Punjab Assembly speaker, chief secretary, provincial secretary Local Government department and others take notice of this behaviour of the Punjab government and help the local government representatives take over their offices under the light of the Constitution. The PML-N local government representatives also marked attendance and announced that they will come to assume their offices Thursday. Lord Mayor while talking to this correspondent said on the night of Monday, the administration pasted a notice outside his house that due to corona no meeting of District Assembly could be held. “The National Assembly, Punjab Assembly and other assemblies in the country are holding meetings during corona. The prime minister, his ministers and Punjab chief minister are holding meetings in corona but Lahore’s District Assembly can’t take place due to corona,” he added.

When contacted, Noorul Amin Mengal, provincial secretary, Local Government, said the Punjab government had requested the court to issue a detailed judgement of this case. He said decision would be made in the light of the detailed judgement.

However, Col Mubashar (retd) refused to buy this opinion of the Punjab government that short order was not enough for handing over the powers to the local bodies’ representatives. He said a prime minister was removed on a short order in Panama case but Lord Mayor Lahore can’t take back his office on the short order.