Khudayar Mohla –
Granting more time to Punjab government in identical petitions assailing new law ‘Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2019’ , the Lahore High Court Tuesday issued directives to the province to submit response by June 24.
Under the new local government system, the Village Council and Mohalla Council would be elected through non-party election system, while election would be held on a party basis at Tehsil and municipal level. There will be a system of Tehsil and Village Councils under the Act as the district and union council system have ceased effect soon after approval of the Act.
Challenging the new law, petitioners including mayor of Lahore, son of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal urged the court for directives to Punjab government to refrain from overriding their term which has been ceased after provincial government approved PLGA 2019.
Ahmed Iqbal has sought court directives through counsels Umer Gillani and Usama Khawar Ghumman to allow existing local government to continue in office until completion of their statutory tenure. The petitioner also urged the court to issue a temporary injunction restrain the government from appointing bureaucrats as administrators.
On Tuesday, appearing before a three-member bench of Justices Mamoon Rashid Shaikh, Jawwad Hassan and Shahid Wahid of the Lahore High Court on behalf of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, advocates Umer Gillani and Usama Khawar Ghumman urged the court to grant stay order in the matter.
However, the bench said application of the stay order would be decided once the Punjab government will file reply in the case in hand. Counsel for petitioners, including Umer Gillani, Usama Khawar and Ahsan Bhoon argued dissolution of elected local governments in mid-tenure was against the Article 140A of the Constitution.
At outset of the hearing, the bench expressed displeasure over failure of Punjab government in submitting reply in the current matter to which advocate general for Punjab Ahmad Jamal Sukhera requested for more on the grounds that his office has been flooded by similar petitions assail PLGA 2019.
Sukhera apprised the bench that by now, there are no less than 33 petitions which have been filed in Lahore High Court by deposed local government representatives from various districts of the Punjab.
Later, accepting plea of the Punjab government the bench granted more time for filing reply and adjourned hearing of the case till June 24.
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