The Supreme Court has agreed to the hearing of former Karachi mayor and member MQM’s petition to the court about his limited powers today at Islamabad.
SC to take up pleas against Sindh LG law on Oct 26
The Supreme Court had fixed October 26 for hearing both the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s petitions, seeking directions for the PPP-led Sindh government to devolve powers to the local government (LG) institutions of the province in view of various provisions of the Constitution.
A three-member special bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was set to hear the case.
The Supreme Court registrar’s office issued notices to the attorney general and advocate general of Sindh. Notices were also issued to other petitioners, including the PTI and the MQM-P.
The petition – moved by the PTI through its Chairman Imran Khan, and senior leader Asad Umar – last month contended that the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 does not take into account Article 140-A as well as articles 3, 4, 9, 14, 16, 17, 19, 19A and 25 of the Constitution.
Setting aside the objections raised to the petition by its registrar office, the bench issued notices to all respondents. It also asked Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan and the Sindh advocate general to assist the court in the case. Famous lawyer Ali Zafar appeared on behalf of the PTI.
However, earlier the court heard a similar petition filed by the MQM-P.
The party, which is a part of the ruling coalition with a vote bank in urban Sindh, contended that local governments are a part of the state in view of Article-7 of the Constitution.
SC tells MQM to file fresh petition against census
Early this month, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court disposed of a case filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) against the 2017 national census and directed the petitioner Dr Farooq Sattar to file a new petition.
The bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam heard the MQM’s petition. During the hearing, MQM’s lawyer Salahuddin informed the court that the Registrar’s Office had objected to the petition, after which it was amended.
Sitting on the bench, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said it would be better that a fresh petition was filed. It had been a long time since the census was held, he added. Justice Mushir Alam also said that a new petition should be filed.
The lawyer also informed the bench that Dr Farooq Sattar was no longer with the MQM. Dr Sattar, who was present during the hearing, approached the bench and said that he wanted to say something to the court. He said there was constant injustice being meted out to the people, he told the court.
Justice Mushir Alam told Dr Sattar that his lawyer had already spoken. The court ruled that objections to the census should be raised in the new petition, adding that the census process was now complete.
Talking to the media outside the Supreme Court, Farooq Sattar expressed his dissatisfaction with the court’s decision. The court had asked for filing a new petition but “our position is that Sindh’s urban population is underrepresented”, he said.
“We put the evidence in court with the data. We identified all the errors in the census,” Dr Farooq Sattar told reporters. “This was the most controversial, rigged and sham census. Karachi’s population has always been underestimated in the census,” he added.
Dr Sattar demanded fresh census in Karachi, Hyderabad and other cities of Sindh. “If the problems of Karachi are to be resolved permanently, a transparent census should be conducted. This bias against the country’s biggest city must be stopped.”