So what does law say about LG Act?

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Provincial law officer given three weeks to reply to JI’s petition on local govt law

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday gave three-week time to provincial law officer for filing comments on a petition of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) against amendments to the new local government law.

JI’s Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and Mian Muslim Pervaiz approached the court, stating that the Constitution gives every citizen right to contest local government elections but provincial government has deprived the citizens of this right by imposing condition of forming panels to contest elections.

Counsel for petitioners said that the panel system violated the basic rights of citizens while the election of the chairpersons and vice chairpersons through councillors was undemocratic.  He said the government was avoiding introducing the biometric system for the verification of the voters and it was tantamount to pre-poll rigging.

Counsel said 65 percent population of the country comprised youth and was acknowledging that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was giving due representation to them in the local government system. Youth should be given representation in every union council and a seat should be allocated for the youth like it is for women, labourers and minorities.

The court was prayed to declare the amendments to the Local Government Act null and void besides terming it against the Constitution. He also prayed to make the use of the biometric system and magnetic ink necessary for the local government polls.

The court also sought comments from federal and provincial authorities on a petition of Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) leader Dr Muhammad Siddique Rathore against Sindh Local Government Act 2013. Through the petition he sought court directives to federal and provincial government to hold census before the local government elections.