Hike decried: Reply sought from OGRA on CNG price increase

NAB restrained from arresting contractor for AWKUM


Our Correspondent April 04, 2016

PESHAWAR: All Pakistan CNG Association Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chapter has criticised the hike in price of CNG. They filed a petition after which the Peshawar High Court issued notices to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and federal Ministry of Petroleum, seeking replies.

The bench of Justice Irshad Qaiser and Justice Syed Afsar Shah was told on Monday that the government has been supplying locally produced gas.

Shamail Ahmad Butt, counsel for the CNG association, said the government would sell [locally produced] gas at Rs654 per mmbtu (one million British Thermal Units) but now it has increased the price to Rs700 per mmbtu. He added the prices were increased in accordance with a notification issued in 2014 while in fact gas prices, up till now, have gone down.

Butt said the increase in price of CNG would ultimately burden the consumers. He said the raise was illegal and unconstitutional and therefore requested the court to declare the hike in prices null.

After hearing the arguments, the bench issued notices to the respondents to submit their replies to the petition.

Arrest restrained

The same bench restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting the individual who won a contract to supply goods to Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan.

The contractor, Muhammad Israr, filed a writ petition through his counsel Sardar Ali Raza, requesting the court to restrain NAB from arresting him. Raza said Israr was a registered contractor who won a contract to supply all electrical goods to the university.

However, he added, recently NAB has launched an enquiry and issued a call up notice to the petitioner through a NAB investigation officer, asking the petitioner to appear before him to be interrogated.

Raza said there were some affairs that NAB has no jurisdiction to investigate into. He stated if NAB was not restrained then it would start entering people’s homes and would ask for people’s nikahnama.

The counsel said even if the applicant had evaded paying taxes, NAB had no authority to ask for details. Therefore, he added, NAB should conduct enquiry within its legal limits. He maintained his client was fearing arrest if he appeared before NAB.

He requested the bench to declare the call up notice issued to the applicant void and restrain NAB from arresting him. After hearing the argument, the bench restrained NAB from arresting the applicant and issued a notice to NAB K-P director general, asking him to file a reply to the petition.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.

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