The Sindh High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the secretary local government, the Election Commission of Pakistan and others on a petition regarding non-holding of local bodies’ election. The petitioner, Dr Raheela Magsi, has assailed the second and fifth amendments to the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, submitting that such amendments were ultra vires to articles 140-A and 32 of the Constitution.
She submitted that people’s right to franchise by forming local governments was being denied due to the prolonged delay in holding local government elections. She prayed to the court to direct the Election Commission to hold local government elections and remove administrators who were working against any constitutional mandate.
Filing an application for urgent hearing, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the SHC had observed in previous hearings that in case comments were not filed by the respondents within two weeks the petitioner may proceed with the case on the basis of available record.
He submitted that no comments had so far been filed by the respondents, praying to the court to decide the case on a priority basis.
The SHC’s division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam issued notices to the ECP, the secretary local government and others, ordering the office to fix the matter by the second week of June.
The court also issued notices to the secretary local government and the provincial election commissioner on a petition against the appointment of administrators for running the affairs of local governments.
The petitioner, Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, submitted that election authorities were bound to conduct local bodies’ elections under articles 32 and 140-A of the Constitution.
He submitted that the appointment of administrators in towns and city district governments in place of Nazims and representatives of the people was contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. According to him, administrators could not be appointed for an indefinite period and the election commissioner should be directed to announce the schedule for local government elections.