SHC dismisses request to suspend hearing of petition against oil hike

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday rejected a government request to suspend hearing of a petition against recent hike in prices of petroleum products.

A two-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and comprising Justice Agha Faisal, heard the petition filed by Iqbal Kazmi against hike in petroleum prices. The bench expressed its dissatisfaction over the federal government’s petroleum ministry’s failure to submit the reply in the court.

It remarked it had become a problem for the court to get a reply from Isalmabad. “The court had sought a reply on another petition but the federal government did not gave answer and submitted the reply only after the court issued arrest warrants of secretary,” Justice Mazhar remarked.

The bench asked the government’s counsel what did he thought that the bench summon the secretary petroleum? “The Islamabad people do not give attention to any notice from Sindh High Court,” the bench remarked.

Deputy Attorney General told the bench that he had talked to petroleum ministry which has given its reply as saying that hike in price formula is policy matter.

The bench asked what is the policy matter, give us in written what you want to say. The bench rejected the government counsel’s request to postpone the hearing of the petition. “We will announce verdict, if the federal government do not submit its reply until 14 June,” the bench remarked.

“Ask petroleum ministry what is reason behind not submitting reply in the court regarding the petition,” Justice Mazhar instructed the counsel.

Petitioner Iqbal Kazmi said that the petroleum ministry, federal government and other parties were issued notices by the court, demanding the mechanism for hike in petroleum products’ prices. He said the petrol prices will again increase on June 1st. Despite petition in the court, the fuel prices are being enhanced.