Islamabad - As the Supreme Court is all set to take up Election Commission of Pakistan’s plea tomorrow (Monday), a leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Saturday filed an application before the apex court praying to postpone local government elections in the federal capital till September 2015.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja will hear the ECP’s petition on Monday. The Commission has prayed to the apex court to order the federal government to expedite passing of an appropriate bill and framing of the rules to enable it to hold elections in Islamabad schedule for July 25.

The ECP in its petition, which has already been filed, informed the court that the federal government was delaying the passing of the bill unnecessarily. It said that the delay is tantamount to defiance of Supreme Court’s March 2015 order. The commission contended that in case if it was not possible to pass the law, the government may be asked to at least promulgate an ordinance so that the elections could be held under the cover of a legal instrument.

Ex-PML-N Senator Zafar Ali Shah in his application requested to hold the local government elections in September 2015 by declaring null and void all the process taken in the different stages of the election schedule as announced by the ECP if the enactment of the local government is not possible. Consequently, the Supreme Court should order the ECP to issue a fresh election schedule for the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) which should be held in the month of September just like Sindh and Punjab where the local government elections are also being in the same months.

Zafar Ali Shah, who had been a member of the National Assembly from the ICT as well as the chairman of the coordination committee under section 94 of the Capital Territory Local Government Ordinance 1979, intends to contest the election for the office of mayor of the metropolitan corporation Islamabad.

He recalled in his petition that the interior ministry through a notification of April 27, 2015 had notified the local government metropolitan corporation by creating 79 union councils within the area of the ICT.

The notification was issued under the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill 2015 which is still in the pipelines and so far the parliament has not made it as act of the parliament. The ECP has already appointed the District Returning Officer Aleem Shahab as well as other election officers for conducting the local government elections in the ICT.

Shah contended that a number of citizens of the capital city had also filed certain petitions for holding of the local government elections on party basis before the Islamabad High Court which were later dismissed by the high court on the grounds that the Supreme Court is already seized with the matter.

It is his fundamental right, Shah pleaded, to have equal political right like other provinces to have an elected body system in the federal capital. He contended that the earlier laws namely the Capital Territory Local Government Ordinance 1979 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Election Ordinance 2002 stand repealed by the federal government.

Shah has also raised a question about the fate of the existing nomination papers filed before the ECP if the parliament while passing the bill says that the local government elections for the ICT will be held on the political party basis. “Will the nomination papers will be converted on the political party base?” the petition asked.

Moreover if contradictions emerged between the act passed by the parliament and the holding of the local bodies elections of July 25 by the ECP, then who will provide the legal cover to the elections whether the ECP, the Supreme Court or the parliament, the petition further asked. Similarly if the Senate where the bill is still pending passes some amendments in the law which then will obviously be referred back to the National Assembly according to the rules of the procedures and subsequently will be passed by the joint sitting of the parliament. But the entire process will take some time, he pleaded.