LHC scratching its head over LG polls


Lahore High Court (LHC) special division bench was found befuddled on Friday during the hearing of petitions against non-party based local government (LG) elections in Punjab.

The court, adjourning the hearing till October 28, directed the Punjab government to file its reply and the counsels to assist the court on matters relating to devolution of powers to local governments, Article 17’s implications and party/non-party based elections.

The bench comprising LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan passed the order on petitions filed by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and others.

Earlier, the PTI’s counsel contended that the impugned legislation did not fulfill the criteria of the constitution which required provinces to establish a local body system and devolve political, administrative and financial authority to it. He contended that the local councils were under subservience to the Punjab government through the act which was against the constitution.

Lawyers’ Foundation for Justice’s counsel said the constitution authorised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the local government elections and the ECP had the authority to delimit constituencies as well. He added that the Punjab government had started the delimitation of constituencies illegally. He pleaded the court to stop the Punjab government from delimitation of constituencies.

However, the bench adjourning the matter directed the Punjab government’s counsel to submit their arguments on the next date of hearing.

The PPP, PTI and others in their petitions contended that sections 1(3), 13, 14, 15, 17, 92(3), 95(2), 105(4), 110,111, 112, 113, 114,122, 123 and 125 of the Punjab Local Government Act-2013 were in violation of section 9, 10A, 17, 19(a), 32 and 140A of the Constitution. They pleaded the court to declare the sections ultra vires of the constitution.


MURDER IN POLICE CUSTODY: The LHC Complaint Cell on Friday directed the Faisalabad district & sessions judge to ensure submission of police report u/s 173 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code), before the trial court within three days regarding death of a citizen allegedly owing to police torture.

Ali Razabad Police reportedly raided a gambling den in the Kaleem Shaheed Colony and allegedly tortured Ghulam Rasool to death. After the incident, family of Ghulam Rasool staged a protest in Chohar Majra Chowk placing his body on road and demanded registration of case against ASI Waqas.

After cognizance of LHC Complaint Cell, the D&SJ submitted that Razabad Police registered a case of murder against ASI Muhammad Waqas and six unidentified persons.

On the other hand, the accused ASI had obtained pre-arrest interim bail from the court of additional session’s judge. However, the investigation officer has been directed to hold the investigation of said the case without getting prejudiced due to official status of the accused ASI.

The Complaint Cell has directed concerned D&SJ to immediately comply with the orders regarding submission of police report within three days so that justice could be assured.