The nomination forms for the first phase of Sindh’s LG elections will be issued on April 28 in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Mirpurkhas. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) used Sindh High Court’s writ jurisdiction to bring a petition against the ECP’s decision to conduct the first phase of Sindh’s LG elections.
This notice was published in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling that declared many elements of the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA) 2013 to be unconstitutional, the party said.
In light of the judgment from the supreme court, it attempted to have a restraining order put in place until the new legislation governing local governments could be passed.
In their appeal, representatives of the PTI including Haleem Adil Sheikh, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, and others argued that the local government election held in accordance with the SLGA 2013 was not only a pointless activity but also a waste of money and resources.
The petitioners stated that on April 13, the ECP had announced the schedule for the first phase of the LG polls in the Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Mirpurkhas divisions of the province and fixed June 26 as the date of polling. They cited the ECP, the provincial election commissioner, secretaries of home, LG, and law departments, and the secretary of the Sindh Assembly as respondents. Additionally, the petitioners stated that the secretary of the Sindh Assembly
However, the petitioners stated that the supreme court should have emphasized Article 140-A of the Constitution for local governments to hold genuine jurisdiction and knocked down Sections 74 and 75(1) of SLGA 2013 in its verdict on February 1.
They contended that both of the clauses provide an undue amount of authority to the provincial government in subjects pertaining to the administration and control of LG institutions.
In addition to this, they argued that the SLGA 2013 in its current iteration was not in compliance with Article 140-A of the Constitution because the supreme court had ruled that two of the act’s provisions were unconstitutional and had requested that the provincial government pass a law that was revised.
After that, they made the argument that in order to carry out the decision from the apex court, the Sindh government had established a committee to alter the LG legislation so that it was in line with the mandate from the apex court.
They went on to say that in light of the judgment from the supreme court, a select committee consisting of 19 members would be entrusted with drafting the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2022. Ten of the members would come from the treasury, while the other nine would come from opposition parties.
They went on to argue that one of the petitioners had participated in the proceedings during which the local government minister had introduced the LG bill. The bill was then sent to the select committee with the directive to report back within 45 days, but later the session was adjourned, and this important task was not finished. They claimed that one of the petitioners had participated in the proceedings during which the LG bill had been introduced.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court’s ruling has not been put into effect and that the procedure to create legislation is still ongoing, the petitioners said that according to the ECP timetable, nomination papers will be released beginning on April 28 in four divisions throughout the province of Sindh.
They argued that the challenged notice should be declared unconstitutional, illegal, and in violation of the Constitution, and that the functioning of the notification should be halted until a definitive decision is made regarding the petition and until the new legislation is put into effect.
In addition, the petitioners requested instructions to be given to the secretary of the Sindh Assembly to provide the record and proceedings of the assembly regarding the Sindh Local Government Bill 2022 and to finish the process within three months.