ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Friday issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan and the advocate generals of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhawa to inform what steps have been taken for holding Local Government (LG) polls in Islamabad and the provinces.

The apex court on March 19, 2014 had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure the announcement of schedule and complete the process of holding LG elections by or before 15th November 2014.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, hearing local government elections case observed that prima facie its judgment has not been implemented.

Deputy Advocate General, Sindh, Qasim Mirjat informed the court that draft for Ordinance on delimitation of constituencies has been prepared. The bench expressing annoyance inquired why the law could not be passed in the last seven months.

Deputy Advocate General (DAG) apologised to the court. Justice Azmat Saeed, a member of the bench, asked Mirjat why he was apologising, as he was only the law officer. Upon that the DAG said he was apologising on behalf of the Sindh government.

The judge asked him that instead of seeking apology from the court they should seek pardon from the constitution, saying; the constitution does not forgive those who violate it. He said constantly the governments have been violating by not holding the LB polls. The chief justice remarked why the governments wait for the apex court orders and don’t perform responsibilities themselves?

Mirjat assured the court that the Ordinance on delimitation would be issued within a week. The chief justice questioned if the delimitation would be done after enacting of law then how the LG elections could be held before 15th November?

The Supreme Court in April this year had directed the federal government, Punjab and Sindh to make necessary law to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan so it could carry out delimitation of constituencies for Local Government elections.

The court inquired from the advocate general KPK why the LG polls could not be held in their province? AG KPK Latif Yousafzai told that in the SC judgment it had been declared that the ECP has to carry out delimitations in provinces. He further said the polls were delayed due to two more issues. Firstly, they had requested the ECP to use biometric system in the local bodies polls, and the second is that it should be held in three stages, adding the ECP had not replied to their requests yet.

The chief justice told him that the apex court judgment was for Sindh and Punjab, as the High Courts of those provinces had declared the delimitation in the respective provinces null and void. He said if the KPK was not affected by that judgment then hold elections, but if it finds the judgment on delimitation is ambiguous then it should approach the Court for clarification.

Justice Ijaz Chaudhry stated the governments did not want to hold local government elections and thus violating the constitution.

Additional AG Punjab Razaq A Mirza informed if the federal government would amend the constitution then the provinces would pass law on delimitation by the ECP. He said the Punjab government had written to the federation for the purpose but so far received no reply. He, however, sought time to get instruction from the provincial authorities.

The bench asked Deputy Attorney General Sajjid Illyas that the court had also directed the federal government to legislate law and ordered him to submit reply in that regard in the next hearing.

The hearing was adjourned till 14th October.