Federal Budget

Supreme Court sets aside LHC verdict declaring fuel price adjustment in power bills illegal

Supreme Court sets aside LHC verdict declaring fuel price adjustment in power bills illegal

Pakistan

Supreme Court sets aside LHC verdict declaring fuel price adjustment in power bills illegal

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - The Supreme Court (SC) has set aside the Lahore High Court's decision declaring the fuel price adjustment in electricity bills illegal.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, the three-judge bench, which heard the case, has referred the matter to the Nepra (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) appellate tribunal.

In its decision, the apex court observed that the high court's decision to declare the fuel price adjustment illegal was not constitutionally and legally feasible.

Consumer companies should file appeals against the fuel price adjustment within 15 days with the Nepra appellate tribunal, the SC stated in its decision, directing the appellate tribunal to fix the appeals for hearing within 10 days and decide on them within a legal timeframe as soon as possible.

In February this year, a single bench of the Lahore High Court had declared the collection of the fuel price adjustment in electricity bills as illegal. The decision was subsequently challenged by the power transmission companies in the Supreme Court.

Earlier, advocate Salman Akram Raja, appearing before the court, argued that the formation of the Nepra was unconstitutional at the time the fuel price adjustment had been imposed in May 2022.

Upon this, CJP Faez Isa remarked that if the formation of the Nepra was unconstitutional, then the LHC judge should have given a decision on it, observing that the single bench had given the decision beyond its authority that could not be maintained.

The CJP observed that judges of the high courts forgot to read the Article 199 of the Constitution, questioning that how a high court judge could tell the bill for the consumption of 500 units of electricity.

Expressing similar observation, Justice Athar Minallah added that no court, including the Supreme Court, could look after the technical matters of the Nepra.

CJP Isa remarked that the Lahore High Court had given a decision that had been not requested in the petitions, adding that it would be better to raise the technical issues with the Nepra.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan informed the bench that the Nepra and Discos (power distribution companies) had no objection to challenging the case in the tribunal.

The Supreme Court ordered the power transmission companies to collect the fuel price adjustments, subject to the decision of the Nepra appellate tribunal after the Lahore High Court's decision.

Later, the three-judge bench disposed of the 1,090 petitions.

The Supreme Court had summoned arguments today (Monday) on the 1,090 petitions against the fuel price adjustment in electricity bills.