Supreme Court restores local governments in Punjab

By: News Desk      Published: 03:09 PM, 25 Mar, 2021
Supreme Court restores local governments in Punjab

The Supreme Court has restored the local governments in Punjab while suspending the Local Bodies Act’s Section 3 as it was in conflict with the constitution, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The Supreme Court on Thursday restored the local bodies in Punjab to the position of May 4, 2019.

The case has now been adjourned for an indefinite period. 

On court’s inquiry, the Attorney General of Pakistan said that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting was due to be held on March 24 but it was deferred to April 7 as Prime Minister Imran Khan was in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned the Punjab government Additional Advocate General why the LBs have not been restored. “You can make a law as per Article 140 of the Constitution but you cannot remove a law depriving the local bodies mandate for five years.”

The court was informed that when the new governments were formed at the federal and Punjab level, they dissolved the local body governments and later Punjab government made an amendment in the ordinance to hold new LB elections.

Counsel for the Punjab government Qasim Chohan said that another reason behind the delay in the local body polls was the Covid-19 pandemic.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked the Punjab government had deprived the people of their elected local representatives.

He further said that elections in Gilgit Baltistan were not held and remarked no example was seen where an incumbent law was shelved on the basis that a new law would be introduced.  

Punjab Additional Advocate General maintained before the court that the Punjab government wanted to hold the LG elections but the matter was pending before the CCI. 

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said after a delay of 21 months it has been now connected to the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

PML-N reaction 

PMLN leader and former Mayor of Lahore Colonel (retd) Mubashir said the apex court has restored the elected representatives of the people. 

“The Section 32 comprised of 67 pages in the Local Government Act but two months ago the new Local Bodies Act was introduced with over 70 pages,” he said while talking to media persons outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad.   

Governor Punjab reaction

Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar talking to the media persons said that PTI always respects the decisions of the courts whether they came in its favour or against.

“If there are local bodies 50 percent of the problems will end overnight. When dictatorship came in local body elections came also on front foot but in democratic governments, the local governments are put on the backburner,” Ch Sarwar said.  

Punjab Governor said he would not suggest any move against the verdict. 

Qamar Zaman Kaira

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the government would face difficulties as the apex court has resorted the local bodies now. He was talking to the media at Model Town in Lahore.