Nepra issued notice in contempt plea
ISLAMABAD, May 28: Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued notice to the chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and directed him to submit reply to a contempt case by the second week of June.
The court on May 10 had restrained Nepra and the electricity distribution companies from collecting fuel price adjustment (FPA) fee from the consumers till disposal of a petition filed by Barrister Abubakar Sehri.
The petitioner on Monday sought contempt of court proceedings against the Nepra chief for continuing charging the FPA from the consumers despite the stay order.
Barrister Sehri along with Mohammad Waqas Malik Advocate maintained that the chairman Nepra had intentionally defied the court orders passed on their pro bono publico petition against what they said the illegal imposition of FPA surcharge.
Barrister Sehri said the imposition of FPA in the current electricity bills of millions of consumers was tantamount to mockery of the court direction. “It appears that Nepra is collecting extortion money from its consumers in broad daylight despite the stay order,” he contended.
He said when the prime minister of Pakistan was convicted and awarded sentence by the Supreme Court for his defiant behaviour why the court could spare the chairman of a statutory body who is making mockery of the court orders.
He requested the court to summon the Nepra chief and issue him a show-cause notice as his act not only showed disrespect to the court orders but also added miseries to millions of consumers. According to the petitioner, Nepra had collected Rs77
billion FPA from the consumers during June and July last year, adding the authority recently imposed FPA ranging from 87 paisa to Rs2.13 per unit FPA for September 2011 to January 2012.
He added that Nepra had imposed Rs2.04 per unit additional FPA on all the electricity consumers on the units consumed by them in July 2011; Rs3.03 for August, Rs1.67 for September, Rs2.13 for October, Rs1.17 for November, 86 paisa for
December and Rs1.86 for January 2012. He said the consumers were already paying Rs4.35 per unit similar surcharge in their bills.
He maintained that FPA was unconstitutional and against article 4 and 25 of the constitution as well as a violation of Section 31 of the Regulation, Generation, Transmission and Distribution Act 1997 and the Nepra Tariff Standards and Procedure
Rules 1997.—Malik Asad