LAHORE - A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court on Friday reserved judgment on petitions moved by PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and others against non-party based Local Government elections in Punjab. The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan reserved the judgment which is expected to be announced in next week.

Earlier, counsels of all the petitioners and respondents appeared before the bench and advanced arguments.

Advancing arguments, Advocate Salman Butt submitted that holding of the elections on party or non-party basis was a right of the Punjab Government. The representatives of the Local Government would be in the service of the Pakistan, and under Article 17(2) of the Constitution the government serviceman could not form a political party, he added. Citing many judgments of the courts, the administration of government would improve if the Local Bodies elections would be held on non-party basis. Advocate A.K Dogar argued that the LB polls could not be held on non-party basis as Article 17(2) empowers to form a political party. Therefore, the LB polls should be on party basis, he maintained, adding, that an attempt was being made to mislead the court.

PTI’s counsel contended that holding of LB polls on party basis would improve the system and these elections were nursery of the politics from which big politicians would be produced. PPP’s counsel submitted that it was decided in the Charter of Democracy that Local Bodies elections would be conducted on party basis. At this, the court remarked that COD didn’t have any legal importance.

However, the bench after recording arguments of all sides reserved the judgment. The PPP, PTI and others through their petitions contended the sections 1(3), 13, 14, 15, 17, 92(3), 95(2), 105(4), 110, 111, 112, 113, 114,122, 123 and 125 of Punjab Local Govt Act-2013 were in violation of the section 9, 10A, 17, 19(a), 32 and 140 A of the constitution.  They pleaded the court to declare the Sections as ultra vires of the Constitution.