ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday warned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of initiating contempt of court proceedings if it failed to hold local government elections in accordance with the Constitution.
A two-judge SC bench headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, which had taken up a case relating to implementation of Sections 39 and 41 of the Local Government Act 2013, also summoned Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the advocate general for KP on Dec 15.
Sections 39 and 41 of the KP-LG Rules deal with the responsibility of Nazim to take physical stock of movable and immovable properties of the local government and submit a report to the local council, whereas every official or servant of a local government and every member of a local council and every person charged with administration and management of property of a local government will be personally responsible for any loss or waste, financial of any property belonging to a local government which was a direct consequence of decisions made by him personally or under his directives in violation of this Act or any other law for the time being in force or which accrues as a result of his negligence or misconduct.
During the hearing, Justice Isa wondered why the local government elections had not been held even after the passage of 14 months and said the court would not allow any violation of the rights of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Justice Isa says government is talking about holding elections in AJK, but couldn’t hold it in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Justice Isa also expressed annoyance over VIP culture in the country, saying the entire traffic was blocked to allow the VIPs to pass and everybody was living like a royal. “Is this how Riyasat-i-Madina functions? We see machine gun-toting individuals everywhere,” he regretted.
He said the government was talking about holding elections in Azad Kashmir, but could not hold the same in KP. Do the people of KP have no rights to be governed by their chosen representatives? The people are being denied of their rights by not holding local government elections,” he observed.
Justice Isa also expressed displeasure over the absence of the KP advocate general and said law officers were being paid from the taxpayers’ money but they didn’t feel that it was their responsibility to appear before the court.
Justice Isa wondered why the lawyers of the KP government were afraid and why they were trying to save the government, asking them not to be afraid of as the government functioned through the public money.
The hearing was adjourned till Dec 15.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2020