PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has put the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government in a contempt of court petition against the “unconstitutional” and “illegal” gas load-shedding in the province.
The order was issued by a two-judge bench headed by justice Qasir Rashid Khan and Atiq Shah on Wednesday. The contempt of court petition was filed by Barrister Kamran, saying that despite the court order, the federal government has subject the province to “unscheduled” and “illegal” gas outages. He argued that after the 18th constitutional amendment, every province has the first right over its natural resources.
The lawyer argued that the province is producing more gas than its consumption, thus, there should have been no gas outages in the province. The lawyer further argued the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Line limited’s (SNGPL) notification regarding suspension of gas to in the province is “illegal and unconstitutional” as the high court has already issued the verdict that there should be no gas load shedding in the province.
The Lawyer said that it is not only causing problems for domestic and commercial consumers but there have been several fatal incidents due low gas pressure. He also sought contempt of court proceedings against the concerned authorities for carrying out gas load shedding. After the hearing the arguments, the court directed the concerned federal and provincial departments to submit report to the implementation cell of the court as the government is not implementing the judgment.
On 18 October, advocate Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel has also submitted petition to the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the “unconstitutional” and “illegal” natural gas outages in KP [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] despite “producing surplus natural gas”. The advocate has urging the court to stop the federal government from gas outages in KP and ensure proper gas pressure.
The Federal Minister for Energy Hamad Azhar has said that gas reserves in Pakistan are declining at the rate of 9% per annum. Briefing the federal cabinet, the minister warned that gas reserves will be completely depleted in the coming years and Pakistan will have to depend on imported gas. He informed that for this purpose the ministry has planned new LNG [Liquefied natural gas] terminals.