A division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday ordered petitioners and respondents to come up with properly framed legal issues to facilitate the bench in deciding whether power tariff cases came within its jurisdiction or could be heard only by the Supreme Court.
The bench was hearing one dozen constitutional petitions questioning legality of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and its powers to determine electricity tariff. The bench later adjourned the proceedings till November 17. The subject of jurisdiction gained importance when the counsel for The Law Foundation said non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and common people were fighting for the right of the Sindh government while lawyers representing the province were silent.
Earlier, Barrister Javed Ahmed of The Law Foundation questioned the existence of Nepra, saying electricity was a provincial subject and Nepra had become irrelevant following passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment. Therefore, “determination of tariff by Nepra is also illegal,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2011.