SHC to hear SSWMB’s devolution case on ‘day to day’ basis

KARACHI: Directing provincial advocate general to ensure his appearance in the hearing of city mayor’s petition seeking devolution of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) from provincial government to local government, the Sindh High Court on Tuesday put off the hearing till Wednesday (today).

The case was fixed before a division bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, which was informed that provincial law officer was busy in the Supreme Court; that’s why he was unable to attend today’s hearing. While rejecting the plea to adjourn the case for an indefinite period, the court said it would hear the petition on day-to-day basis.

Earlier, in the outset of hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer Faroogh Nasim forwarded his arguments, contending that the apex court had ordered SSWMB’s devolution to local governments four months ago but its directives have not been complied with as yet. “The provincial government is violating Article 140-A of the constitution of by not authorizing the local governments,” he added.

Advocate General Zameer Ghumro told the court that there was no such apex court’s court directives to the provincial government to devolve SSWMB, but it was an observation, which was not binding on the government.

City Mayor Waseem Akhtar had petitioned the high court, submitting that the board was created under Sindh Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014 with functions to the needs of general public.

He quoted the Supreme Court’s order in which it had ordered the devolution of the board to local bodies under the rules of business in view of its below par performance. The petitioner maintained that despite the directives of the apex court, steps were not being taken to transfer the SSWMB to the elected local representatives.

He pleaded to the judges to direct the authorities concerned to transfer all the assets falling under the umbrella of the Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014 to the local government institutions.

The court was further requested to direct the respondents to give complete details of all the funds, which they had received for the purpose of solid waste management, how the same were spent, and to appoint a reputable auditor to find the facts.

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