SHC dismisses MQM-P's plea to postpone Jan 15 LG elections.

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court on Thursday dismissed Muttahida Qaumi Movement-PakiAstan's application seeking postponement of the Jan 15 local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

The MQM-P had pleaded for a stay order on the grounds that the notifications of the Election Commission of Pakistan about the schedule of LG polls in Sindh were unconstitutional because it lacked quorum as only a three-member commission at the point of time was not empowered to take such a decision alone.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro said that the counsel for the petitioners had not been able to prima facie point out any inherent illegality in the impugned notifications issued by the ECP.

The bench further noted that any effort for seeking a restraining order in respect of LG polls on such a plea would be in direct violation of election law while the SHC had already turAned down two pleas of the petitioner party in June last year for postponement of the LG polls.

Any effort for seeking a restraining order on such a plea would be in direct violation of election law, court observes

MQM-P leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel along with other party leaders had approached the SHC in June last year impugning the notifications issued by the ECP in April and May announcing the schedule for the LG elections in Sindh by questioning its quorum.

The petitioners filed an application through their counsel Tariq Mansoor to stay the second phase of local bodies election in the province scheduled to be held on Sunday.

The lawyer argued that only a five-member full commission was authorised to order issuance of impugned notifications and thus the same were coram non-judice.

He further contended that if the elections were held, they would have no legal sanction behind them.

Lastly, he also sought implementation of a Supreme Court judgement handed down in February last year on the empowerment of local government in Sindh.

The bench in its order noted that as per Section 3(2) of Election Act, 2017 the ECP may exercise its powers even if the office of any member of the commission was vacant or any of the members, for any reason, unable to...

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