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Fed govt cannot hold LG Polls in provinces : AG in Supreme Court

Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday has summoned Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja (CEC) and Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan in local bodies election issue. 

Justice Faiz Issa inquired whether the Chief Election Commissioner was present. I would like to remind the Chief Election Commissioner of his oath. The court had ordered local body elections in the province. The federation can ask the provincial governments to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.

The concerned authorities are committing contempt of court by not arranging the polls, he stated.

Attorney General Khalid Javed said that the federation can only hold local body elections in Islamabad.

Justice Faiz Issa asked, “Are you saying that the federation cannot hold local body elections of provincial governments?”

The Attorney General said that constitutionally the federation cannot hold provincial local body elections, holding provincial local body elections is the constitutional responsibility of the provinces.

During the hearing, the Chief Election Commissioner declared the dissolution of local bodies in Punjab unconstitutional.

The Chief Election Commissioner said that the Punjab government had dissolved the local bodies.

Justice Qazi Faiz Issa asked whether it was legal for the provincial government to dissolve the local bodies.

The Chief Election Commissioner said that the move by the Punjab provincial government was illegal.

Justice Qazi Faiz Issa asked what action was taken against the Punjab government for taking unconstitutional action.

The Chief Election Commissioner said that the Punjab government has enacted a new local body law.

Justice Qazi Faiz Issa said that if you can’t get the constitution implemented then tell me clearly?

Justice Faiz Issa got angry with the Attorney General for calling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KP and said that you are a constitutional official, why don’t you name the province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa? Do not spread hatred among the people of the province.

He asked when the local government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended.

The Chief Election Commissioner replied that the local government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended on August 25, 2019. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not make new local government laws.

Referring to Article 6, Justice Qazi Faiz Issa said that those who obstructed the implementation of the Constitution are committing serious treason. It seems that the Election Commission is taking instructions from elsewhere and not from the Constitution. If you cannot hold polls then resign.

The Chief Election Commissioner replied that by-elections were held despite the outbreak of the Corona virus.

Justice Qazi Faiz Issa said that you did not do any good to the nation by holding by-elections. Should the nation pay homage to you by holding by-elections?

Justice Maqbool Baqir said that the nation has been oppressed a lot, there should be no more.

Justice Qazi Faiz Issa said that you do not seem to be subject to the constitution but to someone else. The country was ruined due to lack of democracy.

The Chief Election Commissioner said that local body elections would be held on April 18 in KP.

The Supreme Court has given the Election Commission one week to set a date for the elections and directed the Election Commission to inform about the local body elections in other provinces next week.

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