Local Bodies’ elections: SHC notices to Sindh govt, EC

KARACHI:The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued a contempt of court notices to the Sindh government and the Election Commission over their failure to hold local government elections in the province.


The ECP has been instructed to write another letter to the provincial government about the local body polls. A two-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, heard a petition filed by Sayed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, seeking local government elections to be held in the province.


Justice Mazhar asked the Election Commission when the elections will be held. The elections were suspended because of the census. The court ordered the Election Commission to write a new letter to the Sindh government pertaining to the local government elections.


The petitioner said that local body elections were being delayed under the pretext of delimitations. He said Sindh government was not able to account for the Rs78 billion it spends every year. The results of the census haven’t been made public till now, he added.


The Sindh Bureau of Statistics Planning and Development Department told the court that the government has formed a committee and the results will be available soon in the light of the recommendations of the government committee.


The petitioner stated that the court had ordered in February, but implementations were not made yet. The court directed to send a court order to Ali Zaidi, head of the government committee.


The court later adjourned the hearing till December 15.


According to Section 20 of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, the four-year term of Sindh’s local councils expired in August 2020.


The ECP is supposed to conduct the elections within 120 months of the expiry of the term. But the area was delimited on the basis of the 1998 census, which has now become obsolete after a fresh census was conducted in 2017.


Therefore, under Section 221 of the Elections Act, 2017 and Section 10 of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, local councils must be delimited once again.