SHC seeks comments of federal law officer on petitions against Karachi delimitations

Karachi: The Sind High Court SHC on Wednesday directed federal law officer to file comments in petitions filed by Pakistan People’s Party PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement MQM against the delimitation of three national and eight provincial assemblies’ constituencies in Karachi.

Headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the division bench was hearing the petitions filed by PPP’s Karachi division president Abdul Qadir Patel and MQM’s leader Farooq Sattar, who moved court against the ECP notification regarding the delimitation of 11 national and provincial constituencies in Karachi.

Barrister Farogh Naseem on behalf of Farooq Sattar submitted that exercise of delimitation of constituencies in city cannot be undertaken in absence of fresh Census. He said that on March 20, ECP announced the schedule of the forthcoming general elections. However, he added that without following legal process ECP issued notification on March 22 for redrawing electoral boundaries in city. He contended that after announcing the schedule for general elections, notification for delimitation could not be issued.

Abdul Qadir Patel submitted in petition that it was obligatory for ECP to take all the stakeholders on the board before undertaking exercise of delimitation and issuing notification in this regard. However, he added that ECP without taking stakeholders on board delimited the constituencies.

They prayed the court to declare the notification as unlawful and without jurisdiction and suspend its operation.

During the proceeding, the Deputy attorney general requested court for adjourning the matter to enable him file comments. The allowed him time and ordered that comments shall be filed by that time.

However, ECP’s director Muhammad Najeeb filed statement, submitting that ECP in pursuant to court orders constituted a committee which put up its proposal regarding the delimitation of certain constituencies in the city. He stated that commission approved proposal of committee and issued notification on March 22.

While negating the impression created by MQM that election schedule was announced on 22 March, he stated that commission announced election schedule on March 22, adding process of general elections starts with issuance of schedule not by completion of the term of the government. He stated that any change after announcing schedule is unjustified and it would disturb the whole process. Hearing of case was adjourned to April 2.