SC upholds SHC verdict against delimitations

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday upheld the verdict of Sindh High Court that declared as illegal the delimitations for upcoming local government polls in the province.

Three-member bench of apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Hussain Jilani announced the short order on a petition filed by Sindh government questioning SHC verdict on delimitations carried out for local government polls.

The bench in its verdict noted that delimitation of constituencies for the local government is part of process of organizing and holding elections honestly, justly and fairly which is constitutional mandate of ECP, so the power carry out such delimitations should be vest with the ECP.

The bench in its verdict said, “Holding of local government polls had been delayed for more than nine years, which was violation of Constitutional Command. We are persuaded to direct federal and Sindh provincial to carry out appropriate amendments to empower ECP to complete the task of delimitation of constituencies for local government elections.”

The bench said that delimitation exercise should be completed within a period of five months after the announcement of SC verdict, and ECP shall take requisite measures to carry out the process of delimitation of constituencies expeditiously so as to complete the same within a period of 46 days after amendments in laws.

The court while disposing of Sindh government’s petition, ordered ECP to ensure the announcement of election schedule and process of holding it before or by 15 November 2014.

Provincial government had challenged the SHC judgment issued on December 26, 2013, stating that delimitations of the constituencies were carried out lawfully by it. It was submitted that the SHC had set aside hundreds of those delimitations which were done to the complete satisfaction of the residents and the candidates and the judgment of bench is liable to be set aside on this ground alone and elections may be allowed to be held accordingly.

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