Justice Isa grills CEC, AGP in LBs case

Sultan Raja says dissolution of LBs in Punjab was illegal

By: News Desk      Published: 01:59 PM, 28 Jan, 2021
Justice Isa grills CEC, AGP in LBs case

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has termed the dissolution of local bodies (LBs) in Punjab illegal, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Speaking at the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, which is hearing a petition on LB elections, he said the act of dissolving LBs by the Punjab government was unconstitutional.

When Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked the CEC as to what action was taken against the Punjab government for this unconstitutional act, the latter replied that the provincial government had now enacted the local bodies’ law of its own.

Justice Isa asked CEC Raja to tell clearly whether he could ensure implementation of the Constitution. “It appears as if democracy is no more a priority for us now,” he regretted.

He further said he wanted to remind the chief election commissioner of his oath.

Justice Isa said the apex court wanted every institution to work within the parameters as defined by the constitution.

When he reminded Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan that the court had ordered holding LB elections in Punjab, the AGP replied the federal government could only hold these elections in the federal capital.

This annoyed Justice Isa, who said this meant that the federal government could not hold local bodies’ elections in any federating unit.

The AGP replied as per law the Centre could not hold local bodies’ elections in any province.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa then asked the attorney general whether the matter was brought to the notice of the federal government. “Was the issue of local bodies’ elections taken up at the cabinet meeting,” he inquired.

The attorney general replied that there was no need to place the matter before the federal cabinet.

He further told the court that it was on his advice that the federal government had withdrawn the notification regarding the Islamabad mayor.

Justice Isa reprimanded the attorney general for mentioning Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by its abbreviation KP. “You are a senior government official. Why do not you utter the province’s complete name?” he asked.

“Don’t create hatred between people of different federating units,” the judge told the attorney general.