LAHORE - A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought assistance of Attorney General on petitions of PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and others challenging Punjab Local Government Law 2013.
The bench directed the AGP to appear in person and assist the court over the matter.
The court adjourned the further hearing for October 8th.
As hearing resumed, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heading the bench, remarked that the Supreme Court had issued order regarding Local Bodies elections. At this the PPP’s counsel Sardar Latif Khosa submitted that the Supreme Court has only directed the government to hold elections but the issue of party less or party based elections is to be decided by the Lahore High Court.
The counsel for the PTI submitted that the government by passing the new Punjab Local Government Law 2013 have kept powers of holding elections on party based or otherwise with it. He said the authority of delimitation rests with the Election Commission but the Punjab government by doing on its own is committing illegality.
He said it should be stopped from it and should be directed to hold early and party based elections.
In their petition, the PPP submitted that they intend to contest the forthcoming elections for Local Bodies as a party. The PPP prayed to the court that the Punjab Local Government Act 2013 may be declared as a whole to be ultra vires of the Constitution.
The PTI and other respondents submitted that the Punjab Assembly on Aug 21 passed the law for holding Local Government elections on non-party basis. They said the law was passed by turning down a series of amendments, including for party-based elections.
They pleaded that the Assembly could not pass a law for holding non-party based polls.
They stated that the National Assembly and ProvincialAassemblies in the country had been established as a result of party based general election, therefore, conducting a non-party Local Government election in the province will be against the basic spirit of the Constitution.
They submitted that certain clauses of the Punjab Local Government law were contrary to the Constitution and such election would lead to corruption and nepotism in the society.
They also prayed the court to strike down the Local Government Law 2013 to the extent of holding the polls on non-party basis being unconstitutional.