KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Sindh authorities concerned and others on two identical petitions filed by the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) seeking postponement of local government polls in the province.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh directed the respondents to file reply/comments till May 13.

The petitioners argued that the impugned notification issued by the ECP to hold the first phase of local government (LG) elections in four divisions of Sindh on June 26, was the violation of a Supreme Court judgement declaring various provisions of Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA), 2013 ultra vires of the Constitution.

They contended that the LG elections could not be conducted unless the new local government law was enacted in the light of apex court order. They asserted that the LG elections under the SLGA 2013 was not only a futile exercise, but also waste of financial resources.

The GDA through Dr Safdar Abbasi, Sardar Abdul Rahim and other leaders petitioned the SHC while PTI leaders Haleem Adil Sheikh, Firdous Shamim Naqvi and others approached the SHC challenging the ECP notification issued on April 13, announcing schedule for conducting local bodies elections in the first phase in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions of the province on June 26.

Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022

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