ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was playing with the court orders and ordered it to complete delimitation of eight districts of Sindh within two weeks.
It told the ECP to exercise its constitutional powers while deciding a matter about the local government elections in eight districts of Sindh, scheduled to be held today (Thursday).
The Sindh High Court on November 17 declared the revised lists of delimitations null and void, deciding identical petitions filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and others challenging the revised delimitation in the province carried out by the Sindh government.
The SHC had also directed the ECP to revise the delimitations of the constituencies for the local government elections within 24 hours according to its earlier verdict of 18th September and not to delay the election process.
The ECP filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the Sindh High Court with the plea that it was not possible for it to revise the lists in a short period of 24 hours in accordance with the SHC’s decision in the matter.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, took up the appeal of the ECP.
Munir Paracha, counsel for the ECP, submitted that revision of delimitation would also require a new nomination process and re-printing of the ballot papers.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali observed that the apex court had earlier asked for delimitation of the constituencies but the court order was violated.
“Those who are violating the Supreme Court and High Court orders should be taken to task,” the CJP told the learned counsel for the ECP. Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed as to why the Election Commission of Pakistan, being an independent and constitutional body, approaches the apex court instead of exercising its own functions.
The court asked the counsel which were the districts where the local government elections would be affected due to the recent judgment of the SHC in the matter.
Munir Piracha said that elections would not be held in Hyderabad, Badin, Tharparkar, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Jamshoro and Naushahro Feroz districts.
Meanwhile, the court in its order ruled that if it was not possible for the ECP to comply with the high court’s order, then it may consider the postponement of the LG polls in the affected districts on its own.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
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