LAHORE  - The Lahore High Court on Monday ruled that the ouster-clause under Section 10-A of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 could not impose fetters on the Constitutional jurisdiction of court or the Constitutional role of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).A larger bench headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has issued a detailed judgment consisting 91-pages on the matter of Punjab government’s powers to hold delimitation for Local Government polls. The bench has already annulled the powers of the provincial government to delimit the Union Councils through a short order passed on Dec 31, 2013. The bench decided 183 writ petitions. Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan and Justice Atir Mahmood were the other two members of the larger bench. Issuing the verdict, the it stated that administrative branch of the court cannot be directed through a judicial order not to entertain and fix cases of any particular nature without providing the litigant the right to access to justice and the right to place the case before a forum exercising judicial power. The judgment says Sections 8 to 10 of the PLGA, 2013 and Rules 3 to 8 of Punjab Local Governments (Delimitation) Rules, 2013 are inconsistent with Article 218(3) read with Article 222(b) of the Constitution as they abridge and take away the Constitutional role and obligation of ECP besides offending Articles 3, 4, 9, 14, 17, 19 and 25 of the Constitution. The provisions of the Act are declared to be unconstitutional and, therefore, struck down, it rules. It also set asides impugned orders of “Delimitation Authority” and the impugned final notifications issued by the delimitation officers. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan had on Nov 7, 2013 had dismissed several petitions against Punjab government’s powers to hold delimitation.The detailed judgment of the larger bench also carries an additional note of Justice Khan justifying his earlier view on the matter given in the order of the Division Bench endorsing powers of the Punjab government to hold delimitation. The judgment directs the ECP to perform its Constitutional role without further ado and hold elections to the Local Governments in Punjab forthwith. It remarks that ECP need not to wait for the legislative amendments to the Act in the light of judgment.The bench has noted that unavailability of up-to-date national census is a serious challenge for ECP.  However, it observes: “We are confident that ECP, will steer through it with success, ensuring that the elections to the Local Governments are organised and conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law.”The bench directs provincial government to take necessary steps for carrying out amendments in the PLGA, 2013 in light of the Constitutional role and obligations of ECP provided in the Constitution and as laid down in the judgment, as soon as possible, so that democracy in the country is further strengthened.Governor’s disqualification: LHC gives more time to govt to file reply: The Lahore High Court on Monday allowed more time to the Federal govt to file its reply in response to a petition seeking disqualification of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.Earlier, the petitioner through counsel submitted that appointment of Muhammad Sarwar as Punjab Governor was against law and Constitution. He said that Muhammad Sarwar had left the Pakistan when it was in crisis. Such a person could not be appointed as Governor as per the spirit of the Constitution, the counsel added.He requested the court to disqualify Muhammad Sarwar as Governor of Punjab.A law officer of Federal government requested the court to allow some more time to file the reply.Justice Mansoor Ali Shah accepted his plea and adjourned hearing till February 10th.