KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday issued a notice to chief secretary, secretary local government, provincial census commissioner, Commissioner Karachi and others, directing them to submit their respective replies on a petition of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) challenging the new delimitation of constituencies for local government elections.
A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the petition filed by MQM through its leader Dr Farooq Sattar, who impleaded chief secretary, secretary local government, provincial census commissioner, Commissioner Karachi, deputy commissioners of districts – West, Central, East, South and Malir – as respondents
The bench issued notice to respondents, advocate general Sindh and deputy attorney general. Hearing of case was adjourned to December 19.
Dr Sattar through his counsel Dr Farogh Naseem submitted that two notifications were issued regarding delimitation of constituencies ahead of local government elections, whereby 38 union committee were created in Malir district and 47 committees in South district Karachi.
He said that as per new law, union councils were given status of union committees in urban areas, and district councils in Karachi division were abolished. He argued that 38 union committees for district Malir were notified, though he added that earlier all functionaries for district Malir had agreed that there would be 20 committees and 21 union councils for Malir district, which becomes a total of 41.
Besides, he said that some constituencies were given more representation as compared to others. He = further submitted that union councils – Shah Mureed and Mai Garhi, which otherwise fall in East district, had been inducted into Malir. Union council Gabopat falling in West district has been inducted into South district.
He submitted five committees, including Muhammad Brohi Goth, Ayoob Goth, Abbas Town, Gulzar Hijri and Safoora Goth have been shifted from Malir to East district, which was malafide action of respondents. He said that delimitation was wrongly carried out and it was against the constitution.
The petitioner said that deputy commissioner South had invited the delimitation proposals, where he has shown the population of 17 union committees based on estimation, which according to petitioner, was illegal as new law suggested that delimitation shall be made according to last population census.
The party requested the court to declare the delimitation of constituencies for local government elections illegal and restrain authorities from conducting local government elections in the Malir and South districts.