Contemptuous language: Petroleum ministry official issued notice

Published: December 8, 2010
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SC directs secretary petroleum to submit report on sale of British Petroleum’s assets.

SC directs secretary petroleum to submit report on sale of British Petroleum’s assets.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to Director General Petroleum (DGP) Sher Muhammad Khan for using contemptuous language regarding the litigations which were pending before the courts.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday heard the petition filed by former chief Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed regarding alleged corruption in repurchasing assets of British Petroleum Company (BPL) on exorbitant rates.

The court also directed secretary petroleum to submit the report regarding sale of British Petroleum’s assets prepared in 2002 by former petroleum minister Usman Amirudin.

During the proceedings, the court took serious note of DGP Sher Muhammad Khan’s report in which he used derogatory language. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday asked the DGP about his silence on the appointment of an “incompetent” person such as Adnan A Khawja as Managing Director, Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL).

The court rejected a verbal apology tendered by the DGP and directed him to submit a written reply on the show cause notice.

Meanwhile, the counsel for OGDCL Raja Salman Akram argued before the court that the government has been purchasing the assets on cheaper rates compared to purchases made in the past and rejected the allegations of Qazi Hussain Ahmad.

Further hearing of the case was adjourned till today.

Former chief Jamaat-e-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed has filed a petition against malpractice in the repurchase of shares of British Petroleum on exorbitant prices. He has claimed in his petition that the government of Pakistan first sold the assets of the same company at a low price and than bought it back at a higher price.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2010.

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