Local government officials to decide fate of cricket grounds: IHC – Newspaper


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday linked the outsourcing of the federal capital’s cricket grounds to the wink of Local Government (LG) officials, saying the fate of the grounds would be decided by the elected.

IHC Judge Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan was hearing a petition filed against the outsourcing of six cricket grounds by the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI).

The company had advertised to outsource the management, operation and maintenance of six cricket grounds – G-8/2 (former Diamond Cricket Ground), Bhutto Cricket Ground G-7/1, Margalla Cricket Ground G-9, National Cricket Ground F-7, Marghazar Cricket Ground Saidpur Village and Shalimar Cricket Ground, Main Margalla Road, F-6.

Following the publication of the announcement, Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been invited from companies/enterprises registered with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), according to the Deputy Commissioner.

Elections for local bodies in Islamabad will be held on December 24

Adil Aziz Qazi, the claimant’s lawyer, argued in court that the Islamabad administration was leasing the cricket grounds which would make them financially unfeasible for young players.

He said the MCI administrator issued a notification to outsource these grounds on September 8.

He argued that the administrator could not contract out the playgrounds since it was the domain of the elected mayor and asked the court to postpone the process until local elections, likely to be held in around a month. He further said that an administrator, who was appointed for a very short period, could not outsource the cricket grounds for two years.

During the hearing, Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon said that the land outsourcing process had been halted following the announcement of local body elections, adding that the government had notified the timing of the upcoming elections. LG which would be held in Islamabad on 24th December.

Justice Khan ruled that after the elections the elected members of local government would decide the fate of the cricket grounds and dispose of the petition accordingly.

LG Elections

Elections in Islamabad were long overdue as the last local government completed its five-year term in February last year. The elections should have taken place within four months, but the government and the ECP did not organize polls within the time allowed.

After this inordinate delay, the ECP released the timetable for elections in 101 trade union councils in Islamabad last week.

According to the schedule, on November 1, the ECP will publish a public notice inviting applications and allow five days, from November 7 to 11, to file documents. Similarly, after completing various phases, the ECP will award symbols to the contending candidates on December 1 and the ballot will take place on December 24.

Earlier this year, the ECP published a timetable for elections to be held on July 31, but all major political parties filed lawsuits, demanding an increase in the number of union councils from 50 to 101.

Posted in Dawn, October 26, 2022

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