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Failure to conduct LB polls violation of Constitution: SC

07 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The S­upreme Court (SC) on Thursday observed it was an open violation of the Constitution that the government was not holding local bodies (LB) elections in the cantonment boards.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed resumed hearing into the local bodies (LB) elections case. The apex court said that LB elections could not be put on the backburner on the pretext of legislation in this regard.

The SC asked as to what would be the consequence of any further delay in holding the local bodies (LB) elections in the cantonment boards in terms of Article 140A and as required by the Principles of Policy enshrined in the Constitution (Article 32).

The court asked Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to assist it on the points as to what could be the consequence of any further delay in holding of the LB elections in the cantonment boards in terms of Article 140A and as required by the Principles of Policy enshrined in the Constitution (Article 32).

The court further asked the learned attorney general to assist it as to whether the LB elections in cantonment boards could be held under the existing law.The court ruled that the question of contempt against the Ministry of Defence Secretary Asif Yaseen Malik would also be taken up on the next date of hearing.

The court observed that the LB elections in the cantonment boards had not been held since 1998 and now the reason being given by the federal government for the delay was that the government was contemplating on amending the Cantonment Act, 1924 and Cantonment Local Government Election Ordinance, 2002.

The court also observed that holding of the local government elections was mandated by the Constitution.Earlier, during the hearing, the court asked Additional Attorney General Shah Khawar as to when the elections in cantonment boards would be held.

Shah Khawar informed the court that the position on holding elections in the cantonment boards remained the same as an amendment in the laws was still to be made and was under process.He further told the court that a meeting was scheduled under the chair of the minister of defence with all the stakeholders but that meeting could not take place due to an emergency meeting between the minister of defence and prime minister.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till February 20. The court also issued anotice to the attorney general for February 20 in the case relating to the holding of local bodies elections in Sindh and Punjab.


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