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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court said whoever is responsible for the delay in implementing its order to restore local governments in the Punjab would be held accountable.

The Punjab provincial government on 4 May 2019 promulgated the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019, and under Section 3 of the Act, the local governments were dissolved across the province.

The Supreme Court on March 25, 2021 had restored the local governments in the Punjab and declared Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019, ultra vires of the Constitution.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, on Wednesday heard the contempt petition for not implementing its order on restoration of local bodies system in the Punjab.

It decided to probe into the delay in the restoration of local bodies’ institutions in Punjab.

The Punjab chief secretary and secretary Local Bodies were also directed to appear in person on the next date.

At the outset of the proceeding, the additional advocate general Punjab presented notification for the restoration of the local bodies in the province.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in order to avoid contempt of court on October 18, 2021 approved functionalising of the local bodies.

He directed the department concerned to notify the restoration of PLGA 2013 and withdraw administrators.

The chief justice said the drafting of the notification is incorrect.

The provincial government deems that it had restored the local bodies, he added.

The counsel for the petitioners said that the provincial government, before the LHC, submitted that the local governments could not be restored.

The bench summoned the attested copies of the LHC order, and the Punjab government’s statement submitted before the

LHC.

The chief justice said the secretary Local Bodies is holding the CM Punjab responsible for the delay as in his written statement he maintained that he had sent the summary to the chief minister.

The case was adjourned for two weeks.

After the hearing, while talking to media, Mayor Lahore Col (retired) Mubashir said they protested outside the chief secretary Punjab’s office, but he did not come out to listen to their grievances.

He appreciated the chief justice’s order to probe the delay in implementing the SC order.

Col (retired) Mubashir said the provincial government before the LHC had refused to restore the local bodies.

He said that the local representatives have assumed their charge.

Mayor Rawalpindi SardarNaseem said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf gave the LGs funds to its MNA and MPAs.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Punjab Chief Minister,Buzdar, are responsible for not implementing the apex court’s order to restore the LGs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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