SC annuls Punjab Local Bodies Act


The Supreme Court on Thursday annulled the Punjab Local Bodies Act 2019 by terming it in contradiction with the Constitution and restored the local government system in the province. The top court also declared the Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 unconstitutional. A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case seeking declaration of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 as repugnant to Article 140-A of the Constitution. Previously, the local government system in Punjab was dissolved after the passage of the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 by the provincial assembly in May 2019. The local government system had been a point of concern for all political parties because it is a source to deepen their roots in the masses by performing petty development works. However, this administrative arena has badly manipulated and ill treated by the previous governments for the sake of their politics. There had been various efforts to depoliticized local bodies to make effective delivery of basic services to the people at county/ Muncipalty level. The local government system based on non-party electoral process was introduced by the Musharraf regime in 2001, in an effort to empower the people at the grassroots level and decentralization the powers from the Political elite in the Center and Provincial level. The system was devised to eliminate the involvement of MNAs and MPAs in local development works and to keep them limited to their genuine work of legislations as in the Western countries. However, that system did not suit to the political parties without any exception because the development funds proved to be the major source of motivation for their MPs and a tool for the parties to control its MPs. Therefore, all political parties went to amend that non-party local government system in their respective provinces and installed their favorite system which provides them tremendous powers to rule the public. As per reports, there were majority of PML-N in Punjab local bodies government elected in 2016. and PTI government in Punjab folded their bed just after coming into power. After, Supreme Court’s decision the PTI’s desire remained unfulfilled.