SC dismisses MQM’s petition, orders changes to Sindh LG bill
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday dismissed a petition by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) seeking amendments for local government institutions in Sindh.
Delivering his last verdict before his retirement today, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed ruled that the Sindh government was bound to install an empowered local bodies system. The apex court earlier had reserved its verdict on the MQM-P’s petition against the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA) on October 26, 2020.
The court further directed that devising a master plan and implementation comes under the domain of the local government while provincial authorities are barred from launching new projects under the domain of the local government. “The provincial government cannot initiate a project which falls under the local government’s control,” he maintained.
It ordered that the Sindh government is liable to have a good working relationship with the local government and should ensure the provision of financial, administrative and political powers guaranteed under the constitution. The apex court annulled articles 74 and 75 of the Sindh local government act and directed provincial authorities to ensure that all laws should be in harmony with the constitutional framework.
The Supreme Court also directed the provincial authorities to modify laws relating to Sindh Building Court Authority (SBCA), Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Malir Development Authority (MDA), Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA), Lyari Development Authority and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) as per the article 140-A of the Constitution.
The court further directed to amend laws relating to Sehwan Development Authority and Larkana Development Authority (LDA) in order to address anomalies related to powers between provincial and local governments.
MQM’s counsel Salahuddin Ahmed had earlier argued that Karachi’s building control, water supply, local transport and solid waste are under the control of the Sindh government. He had said that the local government had the sole responsibility for the maintenance of parks and libraries.
He maintained that civic amenities, including parks and playgrounds, fall under the responsibility of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation but it does not have authority over the whole of Karachi.