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Supreme Court directs Federal and Sindh Government to carry out appropriate legislation to empower Election Commission of Pakistan for delimitation of constituencies for Local Government Elections

Islamabad, April 08, 2014 (PPI-OT): Supreme Court released detail judgment authored by Hon’ble Mr. Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Chief Justice of Pakistan today i.e. 08.04.2014 in CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 38 TO 45 OF 2014 and CIVIL PETITION NOs. 26-K TO 34-K, 163 and 164 OF 2014 (On appeal from the judgment of the High Court of Sindh, Karachi dated 26.12.2013 passed in Const. Petition No. D.5098, 4559, 4463, 4521, 4803, 5023, 5080, 5091, 5104, 5172, 5294, 5329, 5369, 4724, 4763, 5325 and 5404 of 2013.

The case was heard by a three member Bench headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and comprising two other Judges, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed. Today the detailed reasons has been announced wherein the Hon’ble Bench has observed as under:-

“Before we part with the judgment, we may like to observe that the elections to Local Governments in Balochistan were held on 7.12.2013 on the basis of delimitation of constituencies carried out by the Provincial Government in terms of the Balochistan Local Government Act, 2010. This judgment is prospective and shall not, in any manner, affect the validity of the said elections. For what has been discussed above, while dismissing the appeals/petitions filed by the Government of Sindh, we are persuaded to direct the Federal Government to make necessary enactments to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan to carry out the delimitation of constituencies of local governments. The Government of Sindh is also directed to make necessary corresponding amendments in the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013”.

Moreover, the short order was announced on 20.03.2014 which is reproduced as under:-

“We have heard learned counsel for the appellants, for the respondents, learned Advocate General Sindh, learned Attorney General for Pakistan and learned amici curiae.

For reasons to be recorded later in the detailed judgment, we hold, declare and direct as under:-

i) that the power to hold elections of the Local Government stand vested in the Election Commission of Pakistan in terms of Article 140A of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Election Commission of Pakistan has been mandated to “organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against” (Article 218(3) of the Constitution);

ii) that we uphold para 60(e) of the judgment of the Sindh High Court dated 26.12.2013;

iii) that since the delimitation of constituencies of the Local Government is part of the process of organizing and holding elections honestly, justly and fairly which is the Constitutional mandate of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the power to carry out such delimitation should vest with the Election Commission of Pakistan;

iv) that as the holding of election of Local Government has been delayed for more than nine years, which is violative of the Constitutional command, we are persuaded to direct the Governments, Federal and Provincial (of Sindh) to carry out appropriate amendments / legislation to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan to initiate and carry out the process of delimitation of constituencies for the Local Government Elections.

This exercise should be completed within a period of five months from today and the Election Commission of Pakistan shall thereafter take requisite measures to carry out the process of delimitation of constituencies for the Local Government expeditiously so as to complete the same within a period of 45 days of the enactment/amendments in laws in terms of this order. The Election Commission of Pakistan shall further ensure that the announcement of election schedule and the process of holding it is complete by or before 15th of November, 2014.

The cases stands disposed of in terms noted above.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001

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