After the PSP, the PTI also challenges the local government amendment bill in the CHS

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf challenged the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday against a bill recently passed by the Sindh Assembly to amend the Sindh Local Government Law.

Days earlier, the Pak Sarzameen party had also challenged the bill in the SHC, calling it contrary to various articles of the constitution. PTI MPs Haleem Adil Sheikh, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, and Khurrum Sher Zaman on Friday submitted in the petition that the Sindh government had tabled a bill to make changes to the 2013 law on local government of Sindh (SLGA 2013), which went against the spirit of the Constitution, in particular its article 140-A.

PTI leaders argued in their plea that the amendment bill violates Articles 7,8,32 and 140-A of the Constitution and that the Sindh government intends to seize all powers of local government, which was the third level of government. .

They argued that Karachi’s city status had been undermined in the bill as the city was raised to the level of an ordinary city which otherwise was a crown jewel of Sindh generating over 80 percent of the province’s total income.

PTI lawmakers argued that through the amendment bill, the Sindh government had taken absolute rights over the province. They argued that sub-clauses 5, 12 and 13 of Annex II, Part 1, had been omitted from the 2013 SLGA, which concerned medical schools, hospitals, milk supply systems, the control of land belonging to the Metropolitan Society and the removal of encroachments, which clearly showed that the respondents had committed a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Karachi.

They added that the Sindh government also wanted to wrest powers from local bodies regarding the issuance of birth, death and marriage certificates, infectious disease control and adult education.

The petitioners argued that all of these amendments made it clear that the provincial government intended to usurp the constitutionally guaranteed basic rights of the Sindh people.

PTI leaders argued that the provincial government had also made changes to the procedure for electing mayors and deputy mayors, changing the vote by show of hands to the secret ballot. They said the secret ballot had always been used for the horse trade or to change the outcome in favor of a particular candidate.

The petitioners argued that it was necessary for the selection of the mayor and deputy mayor to be made by show of hands at a joint session of city council. They argued that the attacked bill violated Articles 7, 8, 32 and 140-A of the Constitution. The CSS was urged to declare the amendment bill void due to being against the dictum set forth in Articles 7, 8, 32 and 140-A of the Constitution.

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