ISLAMABAD, May 19: The petition filed by advocate Senator Babar Awan seeking Local Bodies (LBs) elections in the capital was referred to another bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) where an identical petition was being heard.
Justice Mohammad Azim Khan Afridi of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday directed the registrar office to place the case before the bench that was already dealing with the matter.
On Friday, Advocate Awan while arguing the petition of Haji Salahuddin, Chairman Small Traders Association of Islamabad adopted before Justice Afridi that the constitution provided self-governance for the federal capital and there should be a separate assembly to run the city’s affairs.
He said that because of a discriminatory policy, the residents of Islamabad had always been left at the mercy of bureaucrats and non-elected representatives of Capital Development Authority (CDA) and resultantly, they had to face the problems even about the petty matters because the bureaucrats and the non-elected entities were not answerable to them.
He pointed out that under article 32 of the Constitution of Pakistan; the federal government was bound to hold the local bodies’ (LBs) elections in the federal capital to meet the demands of the public.
According to the petition, under sub-article (2) (B) of article 1 of the Constitution, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is an independent federating unit, therefore, all its citizens residing in rural and urban areas must be treated as equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of law as guaranteed under article 25 of the Constitution.
During the hearing, advocate Kokab Iqbal also appeared in the court and told Justice Afridi that he had already filed an identical petition in the Islamabad High Court in 2008 and the matter was still pending there since then.