Court: SC questions restoration of Sind Local Govt Ordinance 1979

ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday issued notices to the Attorney General seeking his stance over restoration of Sind Local Government Ordinance 1979 by the Sind Assembly, when it had already been annulled.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, directed the Attorney General to appear on next hearing and argue on Article 140A and 264 in context with a statement of Sind Chief Minister that the Act was annulled in view of a Supreme Court observation.

“When Local Government Ordinance 1979 had been annulled, how it could be restored”, the chief justice questioned and observed that a law could only be restored in the absence of a new legislation. He said the restoration of the law raised legal questions which were arguable.

Additional Advocate General Sind told the court that Sind Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had stated in a statement that the Act was annulled on the apex court’s observation. Later, the court adjourned further hearing three weeks.

Earlier on February 20, while halting any further action pertaining to the Sind Local Government Act, the Supreme Court had ruled that no provincial department would be transferred to the local government till further orders.

However, on Feb 21, the Sind Assembly repealed the ‘Sind People’s Local Government Act, 2012’ and revived the ‘Sind Local Government Ordinance, 1979’, amid noisy protests by MQM legislators and jubilant cheers by PPP members.

The petition challenging the controversial Sind Local Government Act, 2012, was filed by Barrister Zamir Hussain Ghumro of the Sind Bachayo Committee, pleading the court to declare the law as illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful. The petitioner stated that, “no rural areas were going to emerge in the Metropolitan.