LAHORE, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 15th Augst,2016) : The Lahore High Court on Monday summoned a responsible officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on August 16 on petitions challenging election for reserved seats of the local government on the basis of old schedule. Chief Justice, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the identical petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Muhammad Shafi. During the hearing, the petitioners' counsel Mubeen ud Din Qazi contended that the government withdrew amendments previously made in the local government law and cases against the amendments were disposed of by the court.
However, after the decision of the case, the elections are scheduled to be held as per law prevalent on Aug 26, 2015, the lawyer stated, adding that the Election Commission instead of issuing fresh election schedule only announced the polling date. He argued that the ECP earlier announced the schedule by adopting the amendments in law on the basis of enhanced number of seats, while the amendment had been withdrawn and the same schedule could not be used for reduced number of seats.
Qazi said under the said schedule the submission of nomination papers was to commence from Jan 20, 2016, on which date the law was again amended and the mode of filling up the reserved seats was changed from indirect elections to the proportional representation system as per the political parties list. He said that a large number of candidates, especially the candidates fielded by political parties, were being deprived of their valuable rights to contest the elections of reserved seats.
He requested the court to set aside the election on the basis of old schedule and direct the ECP to issue a fresh election schedule. He pleaded the court to suspend the election schedule till the final decision of the petition. However, the court after hearing initial arguments declined the request to stay the schedule but summoned a responsible officer of the Commission on August 16.