Islamabad -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will today (Monday) take up a petition seeking the court’s directions to the government for holding census in the country.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah will hear the petition where a petitioner Iftikhar Hussain has contended before the court that the population census is a constitutional obligation that the federal government is not fulfilling.

The petitioner moved the court through his counsel Yasir Mahmood Chaudhry Advocate and has contended before the court that holding no census is violation of Article 8 and 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan and Population Census Ordinance 1959 and further it will lead to the failure of democracy.

In the petitioner, Iftikhar Hussain cited the federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of finance, economic affairs & statistic division, chief statistician officer, secretary statistic division, election commission of Pakistan (ECP) and chairman council of common interests (CCI) as respondents.

The counsel for the petitioner adopted before the IHC that population census is a decennial activity that provides comprehensive picture of social and living conditions of the people in the country. Last time, the population census was undertaken in 1998 with support of armed forces and its results were broadly accepted/ appreciated by all national and international experts.

He added that the population census due in 2008, was not conducted due to failure of the respondents. Petitioner said that as per 1973 constitution population census comes under the ambit of Federal Legislative list.

He continued that by not holding the population census since 1998, the Federation as well as the public at large are not aware of the actual population of the country.

 Due to this failure, the resources and wealth are being distributed unjustly and unequally which leads to the environment of distrust among the people of the country.  The counsel was of the view that on the basis of population census, countries around the world plan and manage the distribution of resources among their citizens.  He maintained that without holding population census, the new delimitations, distribution of seats in national & provincial assemblies and new elections are not possible. He said that the respondents are the important state institutions but unfortunately they are not realizing their national duty as these institutions never ever moved any summary to Prime-Minister to issue the directives for holding of population census in the country.

Advocate Yasir adopted that population census provides bench mark data for all the socio-economic development plans and administrative activities in the country.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents to carry out and complete the population census of the whole country in the best interest of justice.