KARACHI: The Sindh High Court sought reply on Monday from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman’s lawyer Usman Farooq while hearing the petition filed against K-Electric (KE). The power utility has submitted its reply before the court. A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Abdul Mobeen Lakho heard the case.
In its reply, KE termed the deaths of citizens due to electrocution during rains as a ‘natural disaster’. The power utility stated that natural disasters are sent by the Almighty. According to the power utility, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken action over the fatalities due to electrocution and has issued a show-cause notice. KE maintained in its reply that KE’s poles and electricity wires are up to the mark but illegal connections, street lights and cable TV wires have been attached to KE’s infrastructure. The power utility argued in its reply that the petitioner was not the affected respondent and the petition filed by the JI leader was not maintainable while his allegations were based on lies.
The bench directed the petitioner’s lawyer to submit his response to KE’s reply by December 5.
The JI leader had filed a petition before the court seeking action against KE over the deaths of citizens due to electrocution during rain in Karachi.
The same bench issued notices to the governor of the State Bank, Federal Board of Revenue chairperson and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairperson while hearing a petition pertaining to the use of cryptocurrency.
The petitioner’s lawyer maintained that the ban was enforced by the State Bank on April 6, 2018, and the ban was tantamount to injustice and violation of the Constitution. He argued that developed nations are obtaining massive investments through the digital currency and it is being used in other countries where the courts have directed the government to make laws in this regard. The lawyer maintained that digital currency would increase investment in Pakistan and prayed the court to overturn the ban and direct the government to make laws in this regard.
The petition stated that the use of cryptocurrency posed no threats to national interests.
The court issued notices to the ministry of law and justice, science and technology, and finance, and sought replies from them.
Meanwhile, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Omar Sial and comprising Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi, directed the lawyers of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and other accused to continue their arguments pertaining to bail pleas of the accused in the assets beyond means case.
Justice Sial inquired why the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had suddenly changed its prosecutor.
NAB prosecutor Sattar Awan said that he was assigned the case and hence he appeared before the court.
The previous prosecutor was giving good arguments and the sudden change is surprising, remarked Justice Sial.
The NAB prosecutor maintained that Agha Masihuddin obtained Rs500 million of the benami assets and benami properties were bought and sold in the names of employees.
NAB submitted transactions of Masihuddin while the investigation officer (IO) informed the court that 40 acres of land was purchased in Munawar Ali’s name.
Masihuddin’s lawyer said that NAB’s questions about the properties had been answered already.
The bench asked why properties were bought in the names of the driver and other employees.
The defence lawyer maintained that people in Garhi Yaseen would come to the Durrani family for the resolution of their issues and would keep forth their properties and money. He added that questions would be answered during the trial.
“Do you call this a black law? No one termed it as black law during lawmaking,” remarked the bench.
The defence lawyer said that he did not think it was a black law but NAB officials did not act according to law.
The court adjourned the hearing till November 18 and directed the lawyers to continue their arguments at the next hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2019.