KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on a petition Monday ordered the government of Sindh to submit its reply over holding new local bodies elections in the province.
The high court bench ordered the government to file its written reply by March 10 over a petition filed in the high court seeking local bodies elections in the province.
The petition submitted that Article 140-A of the constitution makes it incumbent to hold local bodies elections in provinces.
Petitioner said that the local bodies in Sindh had completed their four-year tenures in different cities and districts, including Karachi, but despite the completion of the term, the provincial government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were not taking steps to hold the local bodies elections.
The bench ordered the government to inform clearly to the court as to when it is holding local councils elections in Sindh.
“It is being said that the government planning to hold local government elections in August 2020,” government counsel told the bench.
“Ask the government about its final decision and submit a clear reply on local government elections in the next hearing,” the court directed the government lawyer.
The petition said that the notifications to announce the elected representatives of the current local bodies were issued by the ECP on December 3, 2015, December 26, 2015, and January 1, 2016, and according to such notifications, the entire local bodies have completed their tenure and the elected representatives were now illegally holding their offices.
The petitioner submitted that the provincial government was employing delaying tactics as it intended to usurp the local government funds.
The high court was requested to direct the ECP to hold local council polls as per its mandate under the constitution.