LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has set aside the decisions of the delimitation authority of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the process conducted for the upcoming local government polls in Punjab.

“The delimitation of constituencies of the local government is part of the process of organising and holding elections honestly, justly and fairly which is the constitutional mandate of the ECP,” Justice Jawad Hassan ruled in a verdict passed on over 60 petitions challenging the delimitation conducted for the local government polls.

The petitioners submitted that the election process was started, but the delimitation authority, while deciding their objections, did not consider the principles of the constituency.

The basic point raised by all the petitioners was that the whole exercise was done without affording them an opportunity to file any appeal against the decision of the authority and as such there was no forum available except filing of the petitions.

The ECP through its counsel opposed the maintainability of the petitions on the ground that the decision passed by the delimitation authority involved disputed questions of facts and that the petitioners had no locus standi to file the petitions.

The ECP claimed that the petitioners had been dealt with the procedure provided under the law which dealt with the objections to be addressed by the authority.

Allowing the petitions, Justice Hassan observes that the ECP under the law and the Constitution has the mandate to make amendments, alteration or modification in the final list of constituencies so the remedy provided under Section 22 of the Election Act can be deemed to be made as representation to the ECP against the decision of the authority.

The judge referred all the petitions to the ECP as representation against the decision of the authority with a direction to decide the same as per law. The petitioners have been directed to appear on June 14 before the ECP that shall decide the issues within one month.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2022

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