Delimitation case: SHC gives ECP time to furnish comments

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday allowed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) time to furnish comments in response to separate petitions filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) against its decision for delimitation of constituencies in Karachi.

A division bench, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, resumed the hearing of the petitions on Wednesday. Advocate Farough Naseem on behalf of MQM stated that the ECP’s decision for delimitation of electoral boundaries in Karachi was unconstitutional, as exercise of delimitation without the holding of a fresh census could not be undertaken. He contended that after announcing the schedule for general elections, notification for delimitation could not be issued.

He submitted that the apex court had passed orders in November last year for carrying out exercise of delimitation, adding complying with court orders, the ECP would have accomplished the task after conducting fresh census at that time. He said that now electoral boundaries in the city should be delimited as election scheduled has been announced and electoral roll finalized.

Meanwhile, Abdul Qadir Patel, president PPP Karachi division aggrieved by ECP’s notification of delimitation, submitted in petition that it was obligatory for ECP to take all the stakeholders on the board before undertaking exercise of delimitation and issuing notification in this regard. However, he added that ECP without taking stakeholders on board delimited the constituencies.

The court put off the hearing of case till 8 April (Monday) with directions to ECP for filing comments.