Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Conducting LB polls in cantonment boards, legal and constitutional obligation of govt: SC

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) has remarked “conducting Local Bodies (LB) polls in cantonment boards is legal and constitutional obligation of the government which should be fulfilled and elections be held as soon as possible.

The SC has expressed dissatisfaction over federal government reply on non holding LB polls in cantonment boards, sought written reply from ministry of law and directed that the matter related to delay in legislation with regard to cantonment boards be brought to the notice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif forthwith cautioning that the more the secretary defence will delay the matter, the more it will influence his contempt of court matter

SC further remarked “government has repeatedly sought time. The law ministry stance on seeking more time is weak.

The court also allowed the administrators of existing cantonment boards to utilize the funds to complete the projects.

Justice Amir Hani Muslim remarked “ if there is any law of holding LB polls in the country then the elections be held in the light of this law.

A 3-member bench of SC presided over by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani took up the LB polls in cantonment boards case for hearing Thursday.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Shah Khawar and Iftikhar Gillani counsel for defence secretary appeared in the court. They took the plea that defence secretary is on foreign trip and he will return to the country on February, 18.

The court was told that draft on constitutional amendment with reference to LB Polls in Cantonment Boards is placed before the parliament. The polls will be held as soon as this draft is approved. Government is fully prepared for it. More time be allowed in connection with constitutional amendment draft

The court was further told that cantonment boards had become dysfunctional since September, 15 and the funds stand freezed due to this reason. Several projects stand incomplete due to freezing of funds. Permission may please be accorded for releasing the funds, court was requested. The court allowed to utilize funds.

The court directed legal secretary to present written reply before it till February, 5. Defence secretary should also remain present on next hearing, court further ordered.
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