LAHORE:  Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Tuesday set aside old schedule for holding election on reserved seats of the local governments in Punjab and ordered the Election Commission to issue fresh schedule.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) had filed the petition through Advocate Mubeen Qazi and challenged holding election of the local governments on the basis of old schedule.

The party through its counsel had contended that the Punjab government withdrew amendments made earlier in the local government law while the cases against the amendments had also been disposed of by the court.

The petitioner stated that in the light of the previous decision, the elections were to be held in accordance with law prevalent on Aug 26, 2015, but the election commission announced the date of the polling and did not issue fresh election schedule.

He stated that Election Commission had announced the schedule by adopting amendments in law on the basis of enhanced number of seats. He said that the amendment had been withdrawn and the same schedule could not be used for reduced number of seats.

 The petitioner further said that under the old schedule, nomination papers were to be submitted on Jan 20, 2016 but the law was amended again and the mode of filling up the reserved seats was changed from indirect elections to the proportional representation system as per the political parties list.

The party further said that this act of ECP and inefficiency on its part deprived a larger number of candidates from exercising their right to contest and participate in the elections of the reserved seats. It argued that old schedule would not affect the election process. The legal advisor of the Election Commission opposed the petition and pleaded to dismiss it for being baseless.

However, the Chief Justice allowed the petition and ordered the ECP to issue fresh schedule for holding election on reserved seats of the local governments.