Sindh cabinet to deliberate Apex court’s decision about LB law

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KARACHI, Feb 02,2022- Sindh cabinet to deliberate the decision of the Supreme Court about nullifying sections 74 (transfer of functions from councils to government and vice versa) and 75 (commercial schemes) of the LB law  – Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in the last judgement of his tenure announced this decision about the LB law on Feb, 2.

Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh and Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab has said that after consultation in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, a decision will be taken on how much they agree with the decision of the Supreme Court and what is to be challenged.

The order was passed after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement filed a petition against the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed ruled that under the constitution, the local government should be given financial, administrative and political powers. “It is up to the local governments to draw up a master plan and implement it.”

The apex court said that the Sindh government is bound to establish empowered local bodies and maintain good working relations with the local governments. The provincial government can start projects after consultation with the local bodies.

Justice Ahmed directed that the rules of Sindh Building Control Authority Act, KDA, Malir Development Authority, Hyderabad Development Authority, Lyari Development Authority, Sehwan Development Authority, Larkana Development Authority, and the Water and Sewerage Board should be brought in line with the constitution.

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The top court added that local governments are formed under Section 140A of the Constitution, which binds provincial governments to establish “empowered” local governments in their jurisdiction.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement filed a petition against the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 and it argued that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation does not have authority over the entire city. The verdict was reserved on October 20, 2020.

What does it mean for 2021 act?

The Supreme Court ruling on Sindh LG Act 2013, will also have bearing on the Sindh LG Act 2021, which was passed in December 2021 and has since become controversial.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan leader and Federal IT Minister Aminul Haq says the Sindh government must now return the powers that it had snatched by amending the local government law in 2013 and 2021 to local bodies.

Sindh Chief Minister’s reaction

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the powers of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister cannot be given to the local bodies. We made full compliance of the Article 140A, we will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.

If found any thing objectionable, we will go in appeal, he said