Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court will today (Monday) conduct hearing of eight petitions moved by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and some others against the delimitation and the upcoming local government elections in the federal capital.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq will conduct the hearing of these petitions.

Previously, a representative of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) appeared before the court and informed that the commission did not receive any notice except the matter of PTI petition. Therefore, the court adjourned the hearing in this matter till October 26 (today).

In this matter, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and some other petitioners have put questions before the court, included whether delimitation of 50 union councils (UCs) in Islamabad done as per law or the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) local government act a document that fully capable to cover election related issues and why the age for youth counsellors has been prescribed not less than 25 year with no upper age limit.

Earlier, the same bench had clubbed eight petitions filed by PTI and some other candidates against the upcoming local government election in the federal capital.

The PTI through its Additional Central Organizer Saifullah Khan Niazi has challenged the de-limitation of ICT while adopting that delimitation officer delimited 50 UCs and 6 wards in each UC and published the same list on September 26. The PTI then filed objections on the delimitation of UCs against the authority but its objections were dismissed on October 10.

According to the PTI’s petition, the delimitation would benefit the ruling PML-N and give the party undue advantage over others.

Another petition has been filed by a candidate through his counsel Raja Shafqat Khan Abbasi while challenging the ICT local government act 2015.

The petitioner’s counsel contended before the court that the ICT local government act 2015 was inconclusive, as it did not empower the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delimit the constituencies. And as per this act, delimitation was a job of the executive but contrary to this it was done by the ECP.

He argued that a Lahore High Court bench on the same ground had struck down the delimitation of some UCs in Rawalpindi and later ECP filed a petition against LHC order in the Supreme Court.

The petitioner further adopted that for youth councillors the lower age limit has been defined “not less than 25 years” but no upper age limit has been fixed. Through this lacuna even a 50 years old person could file nomination papers under the youth category.

Former Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah through different petition has also challenged the reduction in the number of ICT UCs initially from 79 to 50 at the present. He has challenged merger of some UCs and change of their nomenclature.