Remarks on gas supply: Court issues contempt notice to minister

Court asks minister to appear in court in person on Friday.


Obaid Abbasi January 22, 2014
The minister had made a statement that some gas station owners had filed a petition in the IHC which was “unfortunately accepted by the court”. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:


A local court Wednesday issued notice to a federal minister to appear before it and explain his ‘contemptuous remarks’ as well as for not appearing in court today.


Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the contempt notice to Federal Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi again and directed him to appear before the court in person on January 24.

The minister during a press conference on January 11 had said that the government had suspended gas supply to filing stations as the country was facing shortage but the court in a ruling rejected the decision.

The minister had also made a statement that some gas station owners had filed a petition in the IHC which was “unfortunately accepted by the court”.

On January 16 Justice Siddiqui on a petition filed by lawyer Syed Javed Akbar took notice of the statement and summoned Abbasi to appear before the court on January 22. But the minister did not appear in the court today.

The petitioner had contended that the minister had shown disrespect to the court by making derogatory remarks against its order seeking contempt proceedings against him.

“Everyone has a right to challenge the court order but no one is allowed to ridicule the court with such remarks”.

On December 20 last year, 77 gas station owners had filed a petition in the court against the government decision of suspending gas supply to filing stations.

They maintained that the decision is tantamount to “killing thousands of workers who are associated with the business.

On the other hand government had challenged the single bench order and filed an intra-court appeal (ICA).

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2014.

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