LHC serves notice on government on contempt plea

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Punjab government on a petition seeking implementation of the Supreme Court’s judgment about the restoration of local governments in the province.

A single bench of the high court comprising Justice Ayesha A. Malik took up the petition filed by former Lahore Mayor retired Colonel Mubashir Javed and others.

The petitioners stated before the court that the provincial government was not restoring the local bodies system despite the court judgement.

They said the government failed to implement the decision and contempt proceedings should be initiated against the Punjab government.

In March, the Supreme Court ordered the restoration of local government institutions in the province after declaring their dissolution as unconstitutional.

“For reasons to be recorded later, Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 (PLGA) whereby the local bodies were dissolved is declared ultra vires of the Constitution and the local governments as were existing in Punjab prior to the promulgation of Section 3 stand restored and it shall complete its term in accordance with the law,” declared Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

The Punjab government had dissolved local bodies under Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 though the elections were held under the PLGA 2013 in phases in 2015 and 2016. The tenure of the elected local bodies was five years.

But the tenure of the local bodies came to an abrupt end in July last year after the provincial government amended Section 3-2 of the PLGA by inserting the words “21 months” to replace “five years”.

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