SHC orders Sindh to hold LG polls in 90 days -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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SHC orders Sindh to hold LG polls in 90 days

Jamal Khurshid

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday directed the Sindh government to hold the local government elections within 90 days and ordered the Election Commission to announce the schedule for the elections.

The SHC gave these orders on the petition of former district Nazims, Nasir Hussain Shah and Dr Raheela Magsi. The counsel for the petitioners, Shabbir Shah, said the people’s right to franchise by forming local governments was being denied due to the prolonged delay in the local government elections.

The counsel said each provincial government was duty-bound to establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibilities and authorities to elected representatives of the local government. “The non-holding of the local government polls is a violation of articles 32, 140-A, 17(2) and 2-A,” he added.

Sindh Law Officer Shafi Mohammad Memon requested the court to adjourn the case as the Supreme Court had already taken up the matter. He said the requirements for the elections, including delimitation of talukas, districts and computerised voters’ lists, were yet to be made.

The Sindh government had earlier submitted in January that the local government elections could not be held due to flooding and poor law and order situation in the province. The comments filed by the chief secretary in the petition stated that the Sindh Assembly had passed the Act 2010 introducingSection 179-A regarding the local government elections and appointment of administrators. He said the assembly decided to enact a new law on the pattern of old Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979 after coordination with other provinces and the election would be held under the new rules and regulations.

The SHC division bench, led by Justice Faisal Arab, observed that the holding of local government elections was the constitutional requirement of the government and Election Commission. The court allowed the petition through the short order, for reasons to be recorded later, and directed the Election Commission to announce the schedule for the local government elections.

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