LHC declares issuance of dev funds without local govt’s approval illegal

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LHC ECP reserved seats

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has declared issuance of developments funds to Punjab and federal lawmakers in Punjab without the approval of the local government unconstitutional.

LHC Justice Shahid Jamil Khan issued the detailed verdict on a petition filed by a citizen, Malik Mazhar Hussain Goraya, challenging utilization of the local government’s development fund, in absence of elected representatives, to MNAS and MPAS in Punjab for carrying out development schemes.

The petition had challenged a tender notice issued by District Council Dera Ghazi Khan, arguing that it was against the rules/policy and in absence of administrative approval of Secretary Local Government. He also alleged that the deputy commissioner and chief officer without TS-I to oblige MNA and MPAs of the area.

In the reply, the secretary, Local Government & Community Development Department South Punjab, appeared claimed that the development schemes were prepared in accordance with Rule 5(2) of Punjab Local Government (Works) Rules, 2017 and approved under Rule 5(7) by the development committee.

However, the court observed that the allegation regarding MNA and MPAs’ development schemes was not denied specifically, rather it was admitted, during arguments, that the schemes were recommended by respective MNA and MPAs on their letter pads.—INP