LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has declared that non-party local government elections being held in cantonment areas are unconstitutional and asked the Election Commission to hold the polls on party basis.
In a short order issued on Monday on several petitions, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ruled: `Sections 14 and 61 of Cantonment Local Government (Elections) Ordinance, 2002 are struck down as being ultra vires to Article 17(2) of the Constitution.
The judge relied on several reported judgments of superior courts, including the PakistanPeople`s Party vs Government of Punjab and others (PLD 2014 Lahore 330), and Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif vs President of Pakistan and others (PLD 1993 Supreme Court 473).
He ordered the federal government and the ECP to issue directives to returning officers to accept nomination papers on party basis by Tuesday in accordance with the election schedule notified on March 20.
The candidates who had already filed their nomination papers would have the facility to revise them and indicate their political party, if any, the order said.
Justice Shah also said the elections for the cantonment local governments should be held as scheduled.The petitions were filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf`s Punjab leaders, Advocate Azhar Siddique, Advocate Ramzan Chaudhry, Advocate Fayaz Ahmad Mehar and others.
They pleaded that the Sections 14 and 61 of the 2002 Ordinance denied political identity to elected representatives of local governments.
They said that without such an identity, the capacity of an elected representative to assess and express preferences for policymaking and executive action was greatly impaired.
The petitioners asked the court to declare the non-party elections unconstitutional and strike down the impugned provisions of the ordinance for being contrary to fundamental rights.
Sep 28, 2016 0
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