ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Balochistan government and Islamabad Capital Territory administration to transfer the powers to the local governments within two weeks

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, heading a three judge bench, questioned as why delay was made in powers transfer and funds allocation to the local governments despite the fact that the LB election process was completed in Balochistan a year ago? The bench was hearing the contempt petition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not implementing the apex court’s judgment to empower the local governments as per the provisions of Constitution.

Raja Rubnawaz, a petitioner, contended that the elections of local governments in ICT, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were completed but neither powers were transferred nor funds were allocated to local bodies despite the court orders. On the other hand salaries of the MNAs and MPAs have been increased considerably.

The AG Balochistan apprised that the bill regarding transfer of powers and allocation of funds to the local bodies had been pending in the provincial legislature for the last six months.

Justice Hani Muslim asked the advocate general Balochistan to give powers and funds to local government either through promulgating ordinance or passing law within two weeks. He warned in case the provincial government fails to do so then the court would revive the original law and order the government to act in accordance with the law.

The additional advocate general Punjab informed that election for the mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice chairman of councils could not be held as the Punjab Local Government Act has been challenged in the Lahore High Court.

The chief secretary KP informed that there are three tiers of local governments in the province i.e. district, tehsil and village councils. He said the Local Government Commission is in place, the powers have been transferred to the local bodies and the funds were allocated.

He said there is no role of commissioner, while the deputy commissioners are associated with the system for technical assistance. The schemes are approved by the district nazims, he added.

The commissioner ICT said that the 33 directorates will be shifted to the mayors, adding the transition period of power is 180 days.

The court directed the Punjab and the Sindh governments to shift the powers and allocate funds after completion of the LG election process and adjourned the case for second week of May.