POL products: Petrol price increase challenged in court

Published: September 4, 2013
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POL products: Petrol price increase challenged in court. PHOTO: FILE

POL products: Petrol price increase challenged in court. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI / LAHORE: 

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has asked the federal government to justify the current POL price hike.

A non-profit organisation, the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, has taken the federal authorities to court over the fresh hike in POL prices.

Rana Faizul Hassan, the organisation’s representative, told the judges that the government has inflated the prices of petroleum products, which took effect from September 1.

This would hit the people hard, who are already stricken by inflation, he claimed. The petitioner argued that the surge in prices is unjustifiable, unreasonable and illegal.

The petitioner has already challenged the amendments made to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Ordinance in which section 43-B was included empowering Ogra to increase or decrease the prices of petroleum products.

When the bench took up the matter, a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) requested for time to file comments of Ogra and ministry of petroleum and natural resources over the matter.

Justice Munib Akhtar, who headed the bench, directed the DAG to file comments by September 24.

The recent increase in petroleum prices is also challenged before the Lahore High Court (LHC), where the petitioner called the action illegal and unconstitutional.

Also, a local lawyer has challenged this increase through a civil miscellaneous application already pending on this matter. The petitioner submitted that all over the world, prices of petroleum products are decreasing especially after the American announcement of attack on Syria, but in Pakistan, prices are increasing by the day with mala fide intentions of the rulers.

He said petroleum prices, which affect every aspect of human activity, are rising without any rhyme or reason and the rulers are making money.

He added that the oil being imported in Pakistan is mixed with sulphur. This kind of oil is available at lowest price all over the world except in Pakistan. He said Pakistan is buying oil from Kuwait Oil Company without fulfilling the provision of relevant rules.

He said opposition parties and the general public are raising their voice against this increase, adding that this increase is against  Article 18, 14, and 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan, therefore it should be declared illegal and non-operational.

The petition is fixed before the bench comprising Chief Justice who will hold the proceeding on Wednesday.

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Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2013.

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