Electricity surcharge: PHC issues show-cause notices to officials

NEPRA chairman, Water and Power secretary asked to submit reply on contempt notice.

Our Correspondent December 06, 2012

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) issued show-cause notices to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) chairman and Water and Power secretary after they failed to submit their replies in a contempt of court notice.

In February, the court heard 78 petitions challenging fuel adjustment charges (FAC) and other surcharges paid monthly by consumers. The court had stayed the recovery of the additional payments and ordered the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to refrain from collecting the charge, while respondents were asked to submit their replies in the case.

In August, another petition filed by Abdul Samad Marwat, said that electricity consumers were still paying the surcharge.  On this, contempt of court notices were issued to Nepra chairman and Water and Power secretary.

In Wednesday’s hearing, respondents once again failed to submit their replies, appealing for more time through Deputy Attorney General Farooq Shah.

The division bench, comprising Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk and Justice Shahjahan Akhunzada, expressed concerns over the attitude of the respondents for not replying to notices. The bench said it was the sixth consecutive adjournment, adding that the respondents should appear in person and submit their replies in the next hearing.

Show-cause notices were issued to Nepra chairman and Water and Power secretary for their failure to reply to the queries of the court. Stay orders issued against the collection of FAC and other taxes by Pesco were also extended, till further orders.

In a suo motu taken by the PHC in 2011, the court ordered that Nepra should refrain from revising the power tariff, unless the K-P government submits a written statement.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.



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