CJP slams Punjab, Sindh govts for delaying LB polls

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  • Justice Mulk issues notices to provincial chief secys and LB secretaries of both provinces for Feb 26

 

Holding the provincial governments responsible for the delay, the Supreme Court (SC) has sought written explanation from chief secretaries and local bodies (LB) secretaries of Punjab and Sindh by February 26, for not cooperating with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for fixing a date for holding LB polls in respective provinces.

The court also gave 15 days to the Defence Ministry for submitting a progress report on a bill proposed in connection with LB polls in cantonment boards.

“Punjab and Sindh are not serious in holding LB polls and want to spend one to two more years by deliberately prolonging the matter. Holding LB polls timely is responsibility of the governments as per law and Constitution. We are sorry to say that Sindh and Punjab have not taken any serious step for giving final date in this connection. Defence Ministry has also done nothing for conducting LB polls in cantonment boards. Punjab is saying it will hold polls in November and Sindh is talking of November next year,” Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Nasirul Mulk said while presiding over a three-member SC bench hearing the case Thursday.

In the previous hearing the provinces had been directed to hold meetings with ECP to decide on the matter.

“An order was given on January, 8 and it was expected that provinces would give final date for holding LB polls. But it appears from the reports filed by Sindh and Punjab EC that they need more time. No headway is being made in the two provinces with respect to LB polls. In such circumstances, we are left with no other option but to summon chief secretaries and LB secretaries of Sindh and Punjab and seek explanation from them,” the CJP said.

During yesterday’s proceedings, ECP’s counsel Akram Sheikh piled up complaints against Punjab and Sindh governments, saying that the governments had not provided any material on the basis of which a final date for holding LB polls could be given and schedule issued. He requested the court to issue orders on this count.

Regarding LB polls in cantonment boards, Sheikh said that legislation could be enacted in “two minutes if the government wanted”. “The assemblies are in session on these matters and even then legislation is not being enacted.”

In this regard, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Bhatti said that a draft bill had been sent to the prime minister for approval.

The court remarked that it be informed about further progress in this regard within 15 days.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till February 26.

1 COMMENT

  1. We are wondered! Why Supreme Court is giving much time to provincial governments? SC should call to authorities of both provinces within 02 days to submit their reply before the apex court regarding delay matter of holding of local bodies election.

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