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Pakistan

Sindh government bound to set up local bodies: SC

  • Supreme Court nullifies sections 74 (transfer of functions from councils to government and vice versa) and 75 (commercial schemes) of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013
Updated 01 Feb, 2022

The Supreme Court (SC) said on Tuesday that the Sindh government is bound to set up empowered local bodies, Aaj News reported.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed heard Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) petition against the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA), 2013. MQM had argued the Pakistan Peoples Party government in September 2013 enacted the SLGA to take over control of the devolved departments by amending Sections 74 and 75 of the act in violation of Article 140-A of the Constitution.

The party said municipal functions cannot be allocated to a provincial government or any other body or authority under its control. It requested the court to declare the SLGA-2013 as unconstitutional.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the SC announced the verdict it had reserved on October 20, 2020. It nullified sections 74 (transfer of functions from councils to government and vice versa) and 75 (commercial schemes) of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013. Under these, Sindh had the power to dissolve the local bodies.

The top judge ruled that under the constitution, the local government should be given financial, administrative and political powers. “It is up to the local governments to draw up a master plan and implement it," said the top court.

Giving authority to the local governments, the apex court directed the Sindh government to establish autonomous local bodies departments.

Sindh LG Amendment Bill will empower people of Karachi: Murad Ali Shah

The rules of Sindh Building Control Authority Act, KDA, Malir Development Authority, Hyderabad Development Authority, Lyari Development Authority, Sehwan Development Authority, Larkana Development Authority, and the Water and Sewerage Board should be brought in line with the constitution, the court ruled.

Following the verdict, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that they will implement the top court's order. However, he added, they will review the decision regarding some of the orders of the court if they have some reservations.

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