LAHORE   - A three member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday asked all the four provincial governments to come up with a clear-cut stance and date on holding Local Bodies elections.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also sought progress report about court’s different orders pertaining to Local Bodies elections.

ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed, the KPK advocate general and Punjab Additional Advocate General Hanif Khatana appeared before the court.

At the outset, the Election Commission of Pakistan informed the Supreme Court bench on Monday that the three provinces, except Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have laid down the relevant law and rules for holding Local Bodies elections but in KPK neither law had been made nor had delimitation work been completed.

The three member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sh Azmat Saeed is hearing a constitutional petition against non-holding of Local Governments elections throughout the country.

During the course of the hearing, the CJP showed annoyance over inordinate delay on the part of provincial governments and said nobody would be allowed to violate the Constitution and law.

The CJP said the people have been given lollypops as no LG election had been held since 2008. “It seems that nobody is ready to follow the Constitution and law,” the CJP remarked.

Justice Khawaja said courts or judges would have no gain in holding LG elections and they only wanted enforcement of law.

“It looks that the political parties are violating party manifestoes,” the Chief Justice remarked and addressed the KPK AG that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in KPK had made an election promise of holding Local Bodies elections in 90 days but it seemed it had backed out of its promise.

Justice Khawaja said that political governments want us (court) to do their job of holding elections.  The CJP made it clear that if court’s orders were not obeyed, the government functionaries would face the consequences.

Justice Sh Azmat said though it is hard to delegate powers to others but the provincial governments should show open heartedness in this regard. The ECP Secretary, however, requested for more time to complete homework for elections.

This also annoyed Justice Khawaja and he said no progress had been made in one and half year.  At the end, the court adjourned hearing till October 21.

Delimitations in Punjab

In a related development, a Division Bench of the Lahore High Court sought reply from Punjab government about objection over delimitation of constituencies for Local Bodies elections in province.

As hearing started, PTI’s counsel told the court that Punjab government is conducting delimitation which is the job of the Election Commission. He said that the Punjab government is conducting delimitation with malafide intentions just to give undue favour to its favourites.