BATTAGRAM: The Peshawar High Court, Abbottabad Circuit Bench, has referred the dispute between the Battagram district nazim and opposition members of the district council over the passage of annual developmental budget to the provincial local government commission for settlement.

Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan also suspended all tenders issued in respect of the schemes approved by the district council.

The court issued the orders while disposing of a petition jointly filed by 12 district councillors, who had challenged the passage of development budget by the district council.

During the hearing, both the parties agreed on the referring of the matter to the provincial LG commission for settlement.

The bench asked the commission to dispose of the matter within 30 days.

Abdul Shakoor Khan was the lawyer for petitioners and Rashidul Haq for nazim.

The counsel for petitioners insisted the budget wasn’t approved by the simple majority of the council and therefore, it didn’t stand approved in line with Section 33 of the KP Local Government Act 2013.

However, the nazim’s lawyer said the petition was not maintainable under Article 199 of the Constitution as the petitioners should have first approached the LG commission on the matter.

One of the petitioners, Mohammad Fayyaz Khan, told Dawn that district nazim Attaur Rehman Khan, who belonged to PTI, had distributed funds to his blue-eyed people ignoring the opposition members in the council.

He said the opposition members cooperated with the district government in its smooth functioning and submitted ADP schemes but the government didn’t respond to them well.

The petitioner said the district government wasn’t serious about the development of the district.

When contacted, the nazim insisted the district council had approved developmental plan ‘on merit’ and that he had no personal issues with the opposition members.

He said he would plead his case before the LG commission.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2016

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