Seeks explanation: SC chides provinces for not holding LB polls

Asks provincial governments and ICT whether they are bound by the Constitution or not.

Our Correspondent September 25, 2013
Asks provincial governments and ICT whether they are bound by the Constitution or not. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the provincial governments and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to answer why they did not hold local bodies’ (LB) polls despite clear orders from the court.

The court earlier had set September 15 as the deadline for holding the LB elections in all four provinces and Islamabad.

Earlier the three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, asked the ICT  and provincial governments whether or not they were bound by the constitutional provisions, particularly Articles 5, 32, 38 (a & b) and 140A.

The bench said the prime minister, chief ministers, ministers, Members National Assembly, senators and Members Provincial Assembly had taken oath under the constitution and therefore it was obligatory for them to follow the constitutional provisions.

“It is the obligation of the court to protect, preserve and defend the constitution,” the CJ added.

The bench sought reply from the responsible authorities of the provinces and the ICT, before passing its final verdict. The court also issued notice to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to explain its constitutional responsibility with regard to holding the LB polls.

When the hearing resumed in the morning, the chief justice remarked that for local bodies’ poll the provincial governments would not get a date of their choice. On Monday, Punjab Additional Advocate General Mustafa Ramday had informed the bench that the Punjab government would hold the LB elections on December 14, 2013.

During the proceedings, the CJ said if the government was not interested in holding the polls, then the court would pass an order. The case is adjourned till Thursday.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2013. 


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