ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday said that whoever is responsible for delay in implementing its order to restore the local governments in Punjab would be held accountable.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the contempt petition for not implementing its order regarding restoration of local bodies system in Punjab. The bench also decided to probe into the delay in the restoration of local bodies’ institutions in the province.

The Punjab Chief Secretary and Secretary Local Bodies were also directed to appear in person before the court on the next date of hearing.

The Punjab government on 04-05-2019 had promulgated the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019, and under Section 3 of the Act the Local Governments were dissolved across the province. The Supreme Court on March 25, 2021 had restored Local Governments in Punjab and declared Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 ultra vires of the Constitution.

During the hearing, the Additional Advocate General Punjab presented notification for the restoration of the local bodies in the province. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in order to avoid contempt of court on October 18, 2021 had approved functionalising of the local bodies. He directed the department concerned to notify the restoration of PLGA 2013 and withdraw administrators.

SC directs steps to address grievances of APS martyrs’ families

The Chief Justice said that the drafting of the notification is incorrect. He added that the provincial government deems that it had restored the local bodies. The counsel for the petitioners informed that the provincial government before the LHC had submitted that the local governments could not be restored. The bench summoned the attested copies of Lahore High Court order and the Punjab government’s statement submitted before the LHC.

Chief Justice Gulzar said that the Secretary Local Bodies is holding the CM Punjab responsible for the delay in his written statement he maintained that he had sent the summary to the chief minister.

Later, the apex court adjourned the hearing for two weeks for further proceedings in this matter.

After the hearing, while talking to media, Mayor Lahore Col (r) Mubashir said that they protested outside the Chief Secretary Punjab office, but he did not come out to listen to their grievances. He appreciated the Chief Justice order to probe the delay in implementing the SC order.

Col (r) Mubashir said the provincial government before the Lahore High Court had refused to restore the local bodies. He told that the local representatives have assumed their charge.

Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Naseem said that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf gave the LGs funds to its MNAs and MPAs. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Buzdar are responsible for not implementing the apex court order to restore the LGs.

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to take steps for redressing the grievances of the families of martyrs of Army Public School (APS), Peshawar.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the suo moto notice regarding attack on the APS, Peshawar. The bench summoned Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan and amicus curae Amanullah Kanrani on the next date of the hearing.

More than 140 persons, most of them children and school staffers, were martyred when militants had stormed the school on December 16, 2014.

During the hearing, the families of the APS martyrs appeared before the bench. They expressed dissatisfaction over the measures taken by the provincial and federal governments. They said that action was taken only against low level officials, but no case was registered against the top officials.

Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel said that most of the people who attacked APS have been hanged, or killed. A martyr’s mother claimed that those who killed were the terrorists, while who have planned the attack, are still alive. She added, “We do not need compensation from the government, but we want to take revenge of children’s blood.”

Another martyr’s mother said that the judicial commission on Army Public School declared that the security failure was the main cause of the tragic incident.

The 525-page inquiry commission report maintained that the guards’ improper position and accentuated main gates and front area compromised the school’s security from the back, from where the terrorists managed to enter “with no retaliation”.

The report contained the statements of 132 people, including parents of the killed school children and police and army officials.

Former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on the request of victims’ parents had taken suo moto notice of the incident, and in October 2018 had set up a one-man judicial commission headed by Justice Ibrahim Khan, a judge of Peshawar High Court. The commission was made after the parents of children demanded of the authorities to form a high-level inquiry commission to investigate the massacre.

After issuing the aforementioned directions, the Supreme Court deferred the hearing for two weeks.