KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgement of the Sindh High Court that had restored a previous local government law, with a directive to the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold mayoral polls by secret ballot.

Advocate Farooq H. Naek filed the appeal in the apex court against the SHC judgement, which was pronounced on Feb 10 on identical petitions filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistam Muslim League-Functional (PML-F).

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, had given the short order on as many as five identical petitions challenging the passage of an amendment bill that abolished secret ballot for the election of mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice-chairmen of local councils, binding the members to cast their votes by showing their hands.

The petitions were filed by MQM, PML-F and PML-Nawaz leaders who requested the court to annul the amendment to the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, which binds the members to cast their votes by showing their hands instead of secret ballot for electing mayors and deputy mayors, etc.

On Feb 11, the advocate general filed an application before the bench requesting the SHC to suspend its order to enable the provincial government to file an appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2016