March 29th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
Col Mubasher Javed, the Lord Mayor of Lahore, Monday said his legal team will file a non-compliance application in the Supreme Court if the Punjab government did not issue notification of his reinstatement to office.
On March 25, a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, declared the dissolution of local government institutions by the Punjab government as unconstitutional. On Friday, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to CM Punjab for Information, said the implementation of the apex court order will have to wait till the government receives the detailed verdict saying there were challenges and difficulties in restoration of the local government institutions.
However, the Lord Mayor of Lahore told Voicepk.net that the provincial government’s insistence on waiting for a detailed verdict for restoration of local government institutions is tantamount to contempt of court. “The reason the apex court issued a short order is that it wants immediate compliance on restoration of local government institutions in the province,” he said.
Since the court order, Javed said, he has written to the local government secretary and the chief secretary to allow him to assume charge of his office as per directions of the apex court. He said the bureaucracy was reluctant to implement the court order on behest of the PTI ruling government in the province.
“On Monday, I have again addressed an application to the secretary, local government, that I may be allowed to assume charge under order of the Supreme Court which declared dissolution of local institutions unconstitutional,” he said.
Javed said he had attached his previous correspondence as well as the certified copy of the apex court’s short order in the recent application. “If the government fails to issue notification of my reinstatement, my legal team will file an application of non-compliance of court order in the Supreme Court,” the Lord Mayor said.
Ahmad Iqbal, Chairman (Mayor) of District Council Narowal and one of the petitioners in the LG dissolution case, also accused the Punjab government and provincial district administrations of resisting the apex court’s order.
“GoPb & DCs are resisting SC’s verdict; not handing over staff, offices, assets & vehicles. Secy LG won’t talk to us. Sadly, the struggle for LGs has been reduced to a petty turf war. We all need to work together for a stronger Pakistan!” he wrote in his tweet on Sunday.
The Supreme Court order reinstated over 56,000 elected local government representatives in the province. The majority of the LG representatives are affiliated with the opposition PML-N party.