Tuesday September 21, 2021

SHC tells PTI counsel to place on record judgments on LB polls

August 05, 2021

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s counsel to place on record relevant judgments of high courts with regard to local bodies elections in the province.

The court was hearing a petition of PTI MPAs Khurrum Sherzaman and others seeking the holding of local bodies elections and the appointment of neutral administrators in the province. The petitioners submitted that the four years’ tenure of last local bodies ended in August 2020; however, the Sindh government was stalling for time over holding the elections of the local governments without any reason or justification intentionally and deliberately so as not to transfer the powers to the representatives of the local councils as provided under Article 140-A of the constitution.

They said the Sindh government had the apprehension it would lose the local bodies elections, and to cover up illegal acts, the government had appointed its blue-eyed administrators and officers in districts, talukas, union councils and municipal corporations, instead of appointing a neutral setup for the interim period.

They further said that the election commission had failed to organise and conduct the elections after the expiry of 120 days under the local government act, and the respondents had completely failed to prepare for and organise the elections for devolving the powers to the local level.

The PTI MPAs also sought appointments of neutral administrators, saying that the government was planning to appoint a political person as administrator of Karachi in clear violation of the Election Act for the interim period.

The court was requested to direct the ECP to hold the local bodies elections in the Sindh for the formation of local governments to transfer the powers/functions to the local governments representatives in true spirit as provided under Article 140-A of the constitution, and to appoint neutral administrators till the holding of the polls.

A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui, inquired the petitioner’s counsel whether he had examined the previous orders of the court on the subject issue. The counsel sought time to place on record orders of the court with regard to local bodies elections. The court directed the counsel to file the same by August 9.