New Punjab local bodies system challenged in LHC

KARACHI: Polling staff taken ballot box during distribution of among the polling staff by Election commission for local body election at Y.M.C.A. INP PHOTO by Qasir Khan

LAHORE: A petition challenging the likely dissolution of the incumbent local government institutions was challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday.

Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal’s son moved the petition in the high court challenging the Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019.

The petition stated the existing local government institutions will be done away with and local bodies representatives will lose their off positions under the new bill. The local bodies couldn’t be dissolved before the completion of their tenure, it argues.

The petition pleads with the high court to direct the provincial government to allow the incumbent local bodies to complete their term and annul the new local government in Punjab.

Punjab Assembly had earlier on Tuesday passed two Bills to replace the existing local bodies with a new local government system amid protest by opposition parties, particularly the PML-N.

Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019 and Punjab Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill, 2019 will come into effect once Punjab Governor gives his assent. As a result, the present local government representatives would lose their office.

The Punjab government plans to hold elections for the new local bodies within one year.