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SC orders ECP to inform regarding date of conducting LB polls in provinces

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to inform the court on  (Friday) regarding the date of conducting Local Bodies’ (LB) elections in the provinces.


Two-member bench of the supreme court headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on Thursday conducted hearing of the petition filed by the president of the Balochistan high court bar against the non-conducting of local bodies polls in the three provinces.


Justice Jawwad S Khawaja ordered Election Commission of Pakistan to submit schedule of local bodies’ elections in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.


The court also ordered provinces to submit written assurance regarding implementation of ECP schedule for Local Bodies’ polls.


Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that there should be no joke with the constitution and the people, inquiring as to who are responsible for delay in conducting the local bodies polls.


He said that Sindh and Punjab should inform the court as to why they are not holding the local bodies’ elections in the provinces.


During the hearing, advocate general Sindh said that the Act was passed in 2008 which was politically made controversial and it was challenged in courts and now the draft regarding the new legislation has been sent to the election commission.


Upon this, while addressing the advocate general Sindh, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that the Sindh government said for legislation in 2010, saying that politicians may have compulsions but the judiciary is not under any duress.


He said that there are problems due to non-transfer of power to the lower level. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja further said that is not the order of the court but the demand of the constitution.


The court said that the forums of services for the people are deserted and no institution is there for redressing the grievances of the people, saying that conducting local bodies’ elections in such situation is extremely important.


Justice Jawad said that politicians might have their own compulsions in holding the election but the only compulsion the court has is constitution.


The court ruled that the constitutional requirements of holding the local body elections are not being met for the past five years and that the public safety forums for public relief are non-functioning because of it.


Additional Advocate General Punjab Razzaq Mirza told the court that the Punjab government has provided all the records required by Election Commission and that it is on the commission now to give the schedule of the local body election.


Advocate General Sindh Abdul Fateh Malik told the court that Local Body Act has also been amended other than providing the record to the Election Commission.


Justice Khawaja remarked that games are being played with the constitution, adding that the joke with the people and the constitution must be stopped.


The court adjourned the hearing after issuing notice to the Attorney General until today (Friday).