LAHORE - Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh of the Lahore High Court directed the additional secretary of local government to decide within 30 days why arrangements had not been made to empower and devolve functions to the local governments.

On behalf of the petition, Sheraz Zaka argued that local bodies have been made ineffective and had been bereft of any power. Union Council 215 Chairman in the petition stated that neither any office has been conferred nor any record of graveyard, death certificates as well as birth certificates been transferred to the local representatives as per the Article 140A of the Constitution. Moreover, powers regarding maintenance of roads, water supply etc have not been transferred to the local bodies, he argued.

The judge directed the additional secretary local govt to hear the petitioner and decide the issue in a month and disposed of the petition.

In another case, Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh directed the counsel of University of Engineering and Technology (UET) to seek instructions from the vice chancellor why the matter shouldn’t be referred to the secretary higher education to probe the allegations regarding illegal appointments of registrar and controller examination.

The judge observed that the matter relates to the good governance of education institutions hence the matter be referred to secretary higher education for further probe. the petitioner’s counsel argued on behalf of the petitioners that UET vice chancellor had appointed Registrar Muhammad Asif and Zaigham Nusrat as controller examination in violation of UET Act 1996.

He argued that such appointments have been made on nepotism and favouritism. Justice Abid Aziz observed that the matter should be probed by secretary higher education department as it relates to ensuring good governance in the education institutions.

The court then adjourned the case till February 12.

LHC seeks reply from Nisar, ECP

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday admitted for hearing a petition filed against former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar seeking order to de-notify his victory on his failure to take oath as the member of Punjab Assembly.

The court has issued notices to and sought replies from Chaudhry Nisar, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the federal government.

Petitioner Mian Asif Mahmood through Advocate Nadeem Sarvar contended that that Chaudhry Nisar had not taken oath as member of the Punjab Assembly ever since he has won the seat. Thus, his constituency stands deprived of its representation in provincial assembly.

The petitioner submitted that the victory of Chaudhry Nisar in the constituency be nullified and order for re-election be given.

The petitioner submitted the court to issue direction to the ECP to de-notify Nisar’s victory in the constituency for his failure to take oath, and also order the federal and Punjab governments to amend the relevant laws and introduce a time frame for lawmakers-elect to take their oath.

He claimed that Nisar’s decision to not take oath was a violation of the law. Moreover, the petition said that his failure to take oath was not only an insult to the voters but also a violation of the Article 2A, 17 and 25 of the Constitution.

It says, “The act of not taking oath amounts to depriving the people of said locality from their fundamental right enshrine in the Articles 2-A, 17 and 25 of the Constitution because representation is an activity of citizens’ voices, opinions and perspectives ‘present’ in public policy making process.” It adds, “…representation only occurs when representative speaks, advocate, symbolise and act on the behalf of the electors in parliament.”

He also pleaded that rule 6 of rules of procedure and conduct of business in national and provincial assemblies to the extent of not providing time limit for taking oath are also against f the Constitution.After hearing the petitioner’s counsel, the court admitted the petition for hearing and sought reply from Chaudhry Nisar and other respondents,

Chaudhry Nisar was elected as member of provincial assembly (MPA) from PP-10 in the elections. However, he has not taken oath so far.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had tabled a resolution in Punjab Assembly demanding the cancelation of the membership of former interior minister.

PTI MPA Momina Waheed said that NIsar is not giving importance to the sentiments of people who voted for him in the polls.