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Pakistan

PSP challenges local bodies bill in SHC

  • The PSP leaders term the Sindh Local Bodies (Amendment) Bill against the Constitution, requesting the court to strike it down
Updated 01 Dec, 2021

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has challenged Sindh Local Bodies (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Sindh High Court (SHC), it was reported on Wednesday.

PSP’s Arshad Vohra and Hafeez-u-Din filed a Constitutional petition in the SHC. The PSP leaders termed the Sindh Local Bodies (Amendment) Bill against the Constitution and requested the court to strike it down.

“The bill is in contradiction with the articles 7,8,32 and 140 of the Constitution of Pakistan,” the plea read.

Last week, the Sindh Assembly had unanimously passed Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The bill was presented in the provincial assembly by Provincial Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussian Shah.

The opposition members raised slogans and tore the copies of the agenda before walking out of the assembly when the house gave clause-by-clause approval to the bill. The opposition legislators claimed that they had not been given copies of the bill in advance to go through its contents.

Opposition parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) opposed the new local government bill.

Opposition's stance

Criticising the bill, the opposition MPAs said the ruling party had not taken into account the due constitutional, democratic, and parliamentary norms while unilaterally passing the new local government amendment bill.

They alleged that the new amendment bill aims to withdraw whatever powers and authority have been left with the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation so as to pass on the same powers to the Sindh government.

Sindh Assembly passes amendments to LG law

The opposition MPAs said the newly-passed amendment law didn’t at all conform to Article 140-A of the Constitution aimed at the empowerment of the local government system in the country. They said that the amendments and suggestions earlier submitted by them to improve the new amendment law have not been considered by the treasury benches in the house.

Significant changes

The most significant change introduced in the amendment bill was to replace districts status with towns in metropolitan corporations of the province, including Karachi. As per the amendment bill, the population of each town will hover around 0.5 million to 0.75 million people.

Karachi Medical and Dental College and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital would be transferred to the Sindh government as envisaged in the new amendment law. In addition, the municipal agencies will no more supervise primary healthcare centers in the province.

MQM-P decides to protest against new LG law in Sindh

The bill also paves the way for new municipal elections in the province next year.

Nasir Hussain Shah said the new bill incorporated the suggestions from the opposition’s parliamentarians to improve the existing local government system that he had already received. He added that the new amendment bill envisages the strengthening of the municipal agencies in the province.

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