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LHC issues notice to Punjab govt on plea seeking five-year term for LGs

Court seeks assistance from Punjab advocate general

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the Punjab government and sought a report and para-wise comments on petitions filed by Lahore Mayor Colonel (r) Mubashir Javed and others seeking directives for the completion of their five-year term as representatives of local governments.

Justice Jawad Malik was hearing the case who also sought assistance from the Punjab advocate general on the subject matter.

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At the outset of the hearing, Barrister Asad Rahim Khan while representing the petitioners argued that his clients were aggrieved at the illegal dissolution of local governments. The petitioners, the counsel argued, remained deprived of representing the citizenry for 22 months as well as subsequent seven months.

“The denial of the legitimate expectations to serve the public interest of the constituents is not only against the doctrine of democracy but also infringed the fundamental rights of the applicants under Article 17 of the constitution,” Barrister Malik argued.

He said that the preamble of the constitution specifically states that the principles of democracy would be fully observed; dedicated to the preservation of democracy achieved by the unremitting struggle of the people against oppression and tyranny.

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The counsel further argued that the state under the constitution would exercise its powers and authority through chosen representatives. The applicants asked the court to become a party to the case, which the court allowed as the others did not oppose his contentions.

The petitioners asked the court that the term of the office of the local government formed under Article 140-A of the Constitution read with the provision of Section 30 of the Act 2013 should be provided to them. They also asked the court that the time period excluded due to the enactment of the Act of 2019 be added to the tenure to complete five years.

At this, Justice Jawad issued a notice to the Punjab advocate general to respond to legal questions raised by the petitioners.

The judge directed the law officer to ensure the submission of reports and para-wise comments on behalf of the respondents. The court adjourned further hearing until December 15, 2021.

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