SC orders delimitation in Karachi sans census
03 March, 2013
KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday, taking a serious notice of Election Commission of Pakistan's 'inaction' regarding delimitation of constituencies in Karachi, ordered the commission to go ahead with the delimitation process even without conducting a new census.
In its 27-page interim order in Karachi unrest case, which also includes a 6-page additional note by Justice Khilji Arif, the SC larger bench declared that it had clearly ordered the delimitation of constituencies in Karachi and that it was not an observation.
According to the interim order, sub section 2 of Article 51 of the constitution is not related to delimitations. Delimitation Act 1973 doesn't put any check on new delimitations. Moreover, the aforesaid act also doesn't decrease the authority of the election commission, the order read.
The order further says that the ECP is authorised to bring changes in the constituencies whenever it likes to do so.
The court said that it was true that census could not be conducted after 1998, but there was dire need for new delimitations. These delimitations should be made according to the proportion of population instead of equal population, it said.
The court said it appeared that the ECP didn't want to follow the judicial order. The order says that all sections of the society had welcomed the Supreme Court's suo motu notice regarding Karachi law and order situation. One year has passed but the government has not followed the court order in this regard. The ECP had also been ordered to implement the court order but in vain, the bench said.
The order said the MQM had not taken the issue of delimitations of Karachi seriously; that is why its petitions were rejected by the court.
So far as the Muhajir Qaumi Movement's petition is concerned, it was also rejected as the petitioner did not pursue the case.
In his additional note, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain stated that according to the constitution it was the responsibility of the ECP to make appropriate arrangements for holding fair, free and transparent elections in the country.