LHC adjourns petitions challenging LB polls for June 6

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Lahore High Court (LHC) Multan Bench on Thursday adjourned three petitions challenging local bodies elections for June 6,2022, for further hearing.

The three petitions came up for hearing before Justice Chaudhry Muhamad Masood Jahangir, a week after Justice Muhammad Shan Gul had issued a restraining order dated April 21 and had sought reply from respondents including election commission of Pakistan (ECP), secretary local government Punjab and others. Petitioners Muhammad Aslam Kamboh r/o Khanewal, Dilawar Khan r/o Vehari and Ghulam Abbas r/o Sahiwal, through counsel advocate Rana Asif Saeed, had requested the court to stop the June 9 local bodies election and declare the notification of ECP for holding elections as illegal.

Rana Asif Saeed told APP that comments and reply from some respondent(s) had not yet reached the court. Moreover, he added similar petitions challenging LB polls had also been filed at the principal seat.

Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Masood Jahangir adjourned the case for June 6.

It may be noted that ECP had announced first phase of LB polls in seventeen districts of Punjab which the petitioners had challenged on the grounds that ECP announced LB elections despite the fact that no election rules were notified under Local Government Ordinance 2021.

The council had further argued that elections had to be held under local government ordinance 2021 which has not yet been made an Act of parliament. He also challenged the extension in the ordinance. Under the Ordinance, voting had to be held through machines but no such system was in place. Rana Asif Saeed had contended that section 213 of LG Ordinance 2021 required the provincial government to notify rules for the purpose of conduct of local government elections and announcing elections before notifying rules was like putting the cart before the horse.