Suspension of LG: PHC brushoff ECP notification

Humayun Khan
PESHAWAR: A divisional bench of Peshawar High Court (PHC) comprising of Justice Rooh-ul-Amin and Justice Syed Arshad Ali has ordered restoration of Local Governments (LG) in both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab while brushoff Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notification for suspending LG councils in wake of provincial elections, on Wednesday.
During hearing Advocate General Amir Javeed, Deputy Attorney General Sana Ullah, court’s assistants Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah, Barrister Mudassir Amir along with counsel for petitioners including Babar Khan Yousafzai, Nauman Kakakhel, Ali Zaman and Malik Shahbaz Advocates appeared before court.
Deputy Attorney General Sana Ullah informed that ECP has issued the notification regarding suspension of LG members under Article220 of Constitution to ensure fair and transparent elections. He added that it is not suspended for first time because in 2013 and will be also suspended once again in wake of upcoming general election to ensure transparency in polling.
In the meantime, Justice Rooh-ul-Amin observed that LG members will be suspended again and again while remarked that is members national and provincial assemblies were suspended during local government elections? Are only LG members will be suspended, Justice Rooh-ul-Amin inquired?
However, federation’s representative argued that members national and provincial assemblies didn’t suspended during LG election while Justice Rooh-ul-Amin remarked that may LG members will be suspend for whole year and added that they are public representative. He added that ECP can also ensure transparent elections by other means.
Court’s assistant Barrister Mudassir Amir and Qazi Jawad Ihsan Ullah referred to several decisions while stated that no one can be deprive from vote and added that LG councils are established under Article 121 while the ECP notification is against the law.
ECP didn’t evoked grounds for suspension of LG members in the said issued notification while declaring base for their suspension is necessary, Court’s assistants argued. They added that LG system is established as per constitution while the members shouldn’t be suspended in such manner without any reason.
Holding free, fair and transparent election is responsibility of ECP while Qazi Jawad Ihsan Ullah argued that election commission responsible for holding transparent election and cannot suspend LG members because it is established under provincial legislation because law has providing legal protection to LG system.
The divisional bench of PHC comprising of Justice Rooh-ul-Amin and Justice Syed Arshad Ali has brushoff ECP notification while ordered restoration of LG councils in both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.