Delimitation dilemmas: SHC issues notices to provincial ECP on plea to restore old boundaries

Published: November 20, 2015
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Sindh High Court building. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sindh High Court building. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the provincial election commissioner and others on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) petition against the delimitation of local government (LG) constituencies in Karachi.

A division bench, headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, called for comments from the provincial election commissioner and others. Syed Sardar Ahmed, MQM’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly, had challenged the revised lists of union councils issued by the election commission.

He said the ECP had issued a final list of the LG constituencies on August 22 this year. Later, he added that the provincial election commissioner, who is the delimitation authority, issued a revised list in violation of Schedule-I of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, as the population criteria have been disturbed in the creation of union councils one to six in Akhtar Colony.

According to the final list, UC-2 had a population of 40,402 and UC-6 had a population of 40,085. In the new list, UC-2 consists of 31,119 and UC-6 has 54,185 people.

Advocate Nishat Warsi alleged that the fresh delimitation and creation of new UCs is based on discrimination.

Absent intervener

Rana Iftikharul Hassan, another candidate from the locality, had also joined the proceedings as intervener. Opposing the MQM petition, he had requested the court not allow the petition, as it would disrupt the election process.

During Thursdays’ proceedings, neither the intervener nor any lawyer from his side was present. Hence, the judges dismissed the intervener application for non-prosecution. Meanwhile, it issued notices to the provincial election commissioner to file comments by November 23 when the matter will be taken up again.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.

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