Sindh govt violates constitution by not devolving SSWMB, MQM tells SHC

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by City Mayor Waseem Akhtar, requesting it to devolve the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) from provincial government to the local government.

A division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, directed Barrister Farogh Nasim, the petitioner’s counsel, to forward his arguments in the next hearing.

Earlier, Farogh Nasim stated in his arguments that the Supreme Court of Pakistan 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.

However, the provincial law officer maintained that the apex court had not ordered SSWMB’s devolution to the local government but just recommended so. He added that the matter was still pending in the Supreme Court.

However, the mayor’s counsel still persisted on his point and kept arguing that the apex court had already passed these directives.

While terming the matter as of public importance, the bench directed Nasim to forward his arguments on July 20 on this point but observed that the SHC will not hear any matter which is pending before the supreme judiciary.

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

The petitioner maintained that since then the board was being run by the provincial government. “This non-functional board (SSWMB) has never performed and should be dissolved to local bodies as provided under the rules of business,” the supreme court of Pakistan had ordered earlier this year.

He has maintained that despite the directives of the apex court, steps have not been taken to transfer the function of the board to elected local representatives.

Akhtar has requested the court 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 have received for the purpose of solid waste management and how the same were expended, praying to the court to appoint a reputable auditor to find the facts.

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