‘Govt interference hurting LG system’
ISLAMABAD: A judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that government interference in the Local Government System (LGS) has caused great damage to it.
Justice Javed Iqbal observed this on an appeal filed by the Lahore Data Ganj Baksh Town nazim seeking an end to a local election embargo on the second round of voting instituted by the Punjab Election Authority. Justice Iqbal called the local ruling unlawful and beyond its jurisdiction.
On the arguments of Punjab Advocate General Shabar Raza Rizvi that the district co-ordination officer was the anchorperson in the LGS, Justice Iqbal observed that this system was introduced in the country to empower the public and to end bureaucratic bottleneck. “At first the government claimed that the system was a panacea for all the ills of the country and the problems at local level would be resolved through it. But now it is said that there are many shortcomings in this system,” he remarked.
The Punjab advocate general in his arguments contended that it was a usual process of non-confidence motion against a nazim and the Punjab government had no bad intentions. He further submitted that there were some new rules introduced in consonance with the LGS and it was designed to target some specific person. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar asked the Punjab advocate general as to why the second phase of the election had been delayed for an indefinite period. “Is it designed for some horse-trading?” the judge asked. The Punjab AG told the apex court that the delay was unintentional. On hearing the arguments, Justice Iqbal observed that the country had borrowed the devolution plan from the USA and other western countries but lacked enough integrity to run this system.
Senior lawyer Khalid Ranjha appearing on the behalf of the Punjab government contended that there were some deficiencies in the devolution plan and the government was trying to resolve the problems. He argued that after the success of the first phase of election there was no need to put an embargo on the second phase of the election. He added it was often blamed on the politicians and bureaucrats were responsible for the failure of this system. The case was adjourned until next Thursday. —SANA