ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday observed that the process for holding of election commences with the announcement of polls schedule and not with the start of delimitation of constituencies.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was hearing the Sindh government appeal against the Sindh High Court verdict on Local Bodies in the province.
During the arguments of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s counsel Forough Naseem, the court remarked that the process for holding of election commences with the announcement of polls schedule and not with the start of delimitation. There are many judgments available in this regard. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, a member of the bench, remarked that delimitation of the constituencies could not be left to the governments, as it would open the gates of fraud.
Forough Naseem argued that the Election Commission of Pakistan has authority to carry out the delimitation process, but the Sindh government assigned this task to the Commissioners, while there was no guideline available in this regards, therefore it was the violation of Article 10A of the Constitution.
He contended the steps taken by the Sindh government in that regards were illegal. He pleaded that under Article 218(3) of the Constitution the process for the elections starts with the delimitation and there were many judgments of the Indian Supreme Court.
Justice Azmat upon said that if the respective governments would carry out the delimitation then it would open the gate of fraud. The chief justice said that Supreme Court of Pakistan has rendered many judgments that the process for elections starts with the announcement of polls schedule.
The CJP asked Forough Naseem that he had not challenged the delimitation process in the Sindh province. The counsel said that he had filed an application in that regard Monday.
The chief justice said that he had done it after the observation of the apex court, which was unfair practice. Forough Naseem contended that the election should not be fair but it should seem to be fair.
The MQM lawyer informed the court that the Sindh government had changed the Electoral College. He further contended that in the new Local Bodies Act the Sindh government had abolished many rural areas and districts of Karachi city and were made part of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. Forough Naseem had completed his arguments.
The hearing was adjourned till today when the petitioner Mureed Ali Shah would resume his arguments.