Gilgit - Baltistan

Legislation being made, IHC told: NALA status

Islamabad, Nov 17: The Islamabad High Court on Monday was informed that the ministry of Kashmir and Northern Areas had been doing legislation on the legal status of Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) and would submit a report to the court within ten days.The single bench of Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam heard a writ petition filed by Syed Mohammad Ali Shah through his counsel Mohammad Ibrahim Shahid seeking dissolution of NALA.

A section officer of the ministry, Shakil Raza informed the court that further amendments were being made in the rules governing the elected body.

He sought time for submission of the report, which the court granted. The petitioner maintained that the former government had introduced a constitutional package in October 2007 which was issued by KANA through a notification on December 15, 2007.

Prior to these amendments, the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly was called Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC).

After the notification, its whole status has been changed, he said, adding its members were not even allowed to legislate or authorised to make the budget.

“The erstwhile status of the council was changed into an assembly while the deputy chief executive was given the full powers of chief executive in violation of rules,” he added.

He contended that members of the defunct council should also cease to perform their duties as they could not be considered members of the newly-born NALA.

The assembly has the power to legislate on 49 subjects and it was announced that all the administrative and financial powers of the ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas would be transferred to the local government.  APP

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