KARACHI - The Sindh High Court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to file a written statement or notification regarding the new schedule of the local government elections in Karachi division.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh also asked the ECP to ensure that the LG polls in the provincial metropolis to be held on Oct 23 as announced by the commission.

When the bench took up for hearing the petitions of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami against ECP for postponing twice the second phase of the LG elections in Sindh, ECP law officer Abdullah Hanjra submitted that the commission through a press release issued on Sept 14 had announced to hold LG elections in Karachi division on Oct 23.

He further said that about elections in Hyderabad division, the ECP called reports from the provincial election commissioner and deputy commissioners concerned about flood situation and the polling date will be announced as soon as possible.

He requested for time after the bench asked the ECP to file a proper written statement or a notification about the schedule of the election in Karachi. The court adjourned the hearing till Oct 25.

Both the PTI and JI petitioned the SHC stating that the ECP was bound to hold elections within 120 days following the end of four-year tenure of the local governments in Sindh that had expired on Aug 30, 2020.

They said the ECP had failed to hold the elections and violated the mandatory provisions of law. The petitioners sought directive for ECP to announce a fresh schedule for the LG elections.