Govt given one month to amend LG law, SHC told

Published October 13, 2021
A file photo of the Sindh High Court. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
A file photo of the Sindh High Court. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday informed the Sindh High Court that it had directed the Sindh government to provide requisite data for delimitation and amend the local government law within a month.

The ECP said that it issued such directives through an order dated Oct 6 in a case filed before it regarding a delay in the LG elections in Sindh.

Advocate Abdullah Hanjrah appeared on behalf of the ECP and placed the order before the SHC bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh.

He submitted that in case of non-compliance on the part of the provincial government, the ECP would re-fix the matter for hearing after one month and the chief secretary would appear in person for clarification and justification.

Earlier, the ECP submitted that it had notified delimitation committees for holding LG polls in Sindh, but the provincial government had yet to provide requisite data on the pretext that it had reservations on the official result of the 2017 census.

Initially, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had approached the SHC and challenged the constitution of committees for delimitation of local government jurisdiction in the province stating that according to the Elections Act, 2017, the exercise of delimitation could not be carried out unless the final results of the population census were officially published.

Later, some other petitions were also filed and petitioners contended that LG government tenure ended on Aug 30, 2020, but the ECP failed to fulfil its obligation to conduct fresh elections within 120 days.

Petroleum products’ prices

The SHC on Tuesday directed the federal authorities to inform it of relevant law and mechanism being used to increase the prices of petroleum products.

A two-judge bench hea­ded by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro also asked the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and respondents as well as an assistant attorney general to ensure that they must file comments till Oct 25 on a set of petitions challenging the hike in petroleum products made in 2019.

It directed the official respondents and the law officer to submit specific comments detailing the formula and the relevant law applied for making increase in the price of petroleum products.

The bench also asked them to file the procedure, if any, adopted for such a purpose and whether there was a committee that made such decision, and if so what basis and structure being followed for such decision and how much levy was imposed or could be imposed per litre as per law.

The petitioners submitted that the government was competent to impose taxes on the public but subject to approval of the parliament by way of an act/law, but it in violation of the constitutional scheme imposed a “mini-budget” in March 2019 and imposed taxes.

They further submitted that the official respondents increased the rates of petroleum products, which was unjust, arbitrary and in violation of many provision of the Constitution.

The petitioners sought directives for the respondents to place the formula for increase in prices of petroleum products before the parliament for approval as they argued that such an increase on the sole discretion of the government had no legal sanctity.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

Editorial

27 Nov 2021

Supporting ECP

ALTHOUGH the government bulldozed legislation on electronic voting machines through parliament, the reality is that...
27 Nov 2021

Forgiving the Taliban

IF there is one takeaway from Thursday’s gathering of more than 1,000 Shia Hazaras in Kabul, it is the call given...
Living in fear
Updated 27 Nov 2021

Living in fear

THE registration of a blasphemy case against four members of a family from a village on the outskirts of Lahore has...
26 Nov 2021

State Bank’s projections

THE macroeconomic projections listed by the State Bank of Pakistan in its annual report on the nation’s economy...
Ad distribution
Updated 26 Nov 2021

Ad distribution

If present govt can muster will to achieve this task it would set a solid precedent that no future govt would find easy to undo.
26 Nov 2021

Messy passengers

NEWS that passengers on a PIA flight from Manchester to Islamabad left so much litter on the plane that it led to a...