SC says petition against dissolution of Punjab local govts is maintainable
In a major development, the Supreme Court Monday declared a petition maintainable through which the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 has been challenged, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam was hearing different petitions filed against the dissolution of local governments and also issued to notices to the respondents, including the attorney general and the Punjab advocate general.
During the hearing, Nawazish Ali Pirzada – the counsel for the petitioner – argued that the elected representatives had taken oath on December 31, 2016 for a five-year period given in the Constitution.
However, he added, the government introduced a new legislation – the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 – which was clear violation of different articles of the Constitution.
Justice Umar Atta Bandial remarked that the petition was of public interest and asked the counsel to satisfy the court on its merits.
The counsel said the functioning of the entire state had come to a halt after the imposition of the Punjab Local Government Act 2019.
The government could have brought the new legislation after the expiry of the local government’s tenure but it didn’t, he said, adding that the powers of elected representatives were handed over to bureaucracy.
After hearing the arguments, the apex court accepted the petition for hearing and issued notices of the respondents before adjourning the proceedings for an indefinite period.
Talking to 24NewsHD TV channel, former Lahore Mayor Col (retd) Mubashir and others said the PTI government had shown political vendetta by removing the representatives elected by the people. The Punjab Local Government Act 2019 was unconstitutional, they stressed.
The PTI is facing severe criticism over the dissolution of local governments in the province which has been further boosted amid the coronavirus pandemic. The critics are of the view that the local governments would have been a very effective tool to face the situation.