SC seeks details of steps taken for LG polls


The Supreme Court on Monday gave an opportunity to the federal and all provincial governments to apprise it about interim steps being contemplated by them for holding local government elections by October 21.

The three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry passed the orders at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.

The additional attorney general and advocates generals of all provinces appeared before the bench. Election Commission Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan was also present.

The bench noted that the federal and provincial governments had not placed on record their viewpoints to adopt interim measures for enforcing articles 32 and 140 A of the constitution in response to its last order.

The court observed that it had been insisting that the respective governments should enforce mandatory provisions for holding local government elections. “In fact there should not have been any necessity for the court to enquire from the governments why they were not holding local bodies elections,” it said.

“The functionaries concerned are bound to protect and preserve the constitution instead of allowing non-adherence of any of its provisions for one reason or another,” it added.

The ECP secretary told the bench that the provinces had not completed the basic requirements for the elections.

The provincial government were required to frame rules and mark delimitations before approaching the ECP with a formal request for holding local bodies’ elections but no one had approached the commission so far.

He said Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan had formed the rules while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Islamabad Capital Territory had not framed theirs yet.

The SC said it was exercising judicial restraint otherwise it was not difficult to pass an order in view of previous observations in the matter. “We are of the opinion that let the respective governments discharge their own functions and duties as the constitution requires,” it added.

The bench then adjourned the matter.