Islamabad LG polls: IHC seeks ‘solid reason’ from Centre for increase in UCs

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday sought a solid reason from the federal government for increasing the number of union councils (UCs) from 101 to 125 for the local government (LG) elections.

A two-member bench, headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq, heard the intra-court appeals against its December 30 decision to hold local body elections in the federal capital on Dec 31.

During the course of the proceedings, the court asked the government to share the minutes of the cabinet meeting and a summary regarding the increase in the number of UCs in Islamabad on January 19.

The court warned that it will order conduct the elections in 101 UCs if the government fails to provide a satisfactory reason

The IHC chief justice said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was ready to conduct polls in 101 UCs and still is.

The court asked what would happen now that elections did not take place.

At this, the lawyer representing a citizen — who approached the court regarding the correction of the voters’ list — said that it was difficult to implement the court’s order in such a short period of time.

“The single bench did not hear us, or the order wouldn’t have been issued,” he said.

The court then asked how this affects those who have challenged the voters’ list.

“Is it not the district election commissioner’s job to see the voter lists?” questioned the court.

At this, the director general of law at the ECP said it is the authority of the district election commissioner to check the voters’ list.

The court said that three days had been given for the correction of voter lists. IHC CJ said that the concerns of the voters will be valid when the single bench’s decision remains intact.