The bench advised Rashid A. Rizvi, counsel for the JI, that they could approach the high court concerned on the matter
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial remarked on Monday the Supreme Court would not interfere in economic affairs, as it had no expertise in the domain. A three-member SC bench, headed by CJP Bandial, and comprising Justice Ayesha A. Malik and Justice Athar Minallah, was hearing a petition, filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) against the privatisation of K-Electric, the sole private power utility company in Karachi.
The bench advised Rashid A. Rizvi, counsel for the JI, that they could approach the high court concerned on the matter. The CJP observed that recently, the Parliament enacted two laws related to clause 3 of Article 184, which state that for the court to have original jurisdiction on an issue, it first needs to be of public importance and must involve a violation of fundamental rights enshrined within the Constitution.
“We have fixed old cases for hearing to examine as to whether they are alive,” added the CJP. Advocate Salahuddin informed the court that an application was also filed before the court against KESC Labour Union. Justice Ayesha A. Malik however, observed that at present, the matter was not before the court.
The petitioner’s lawyer sought adjournment in the matter till next week. The CJP said the court would be on holiday from the next week; therefore, judges would not be available and would be working at Registries concerned. Meanwhile, the CJP directed the counsel to seek instructions in this regard and adjourned the matter for Tuesday (today).
The company, formerly known as Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), was privatised in 2005 for a sum of Rs16 billion to a Saudi-Kuwaiti group. In those days, the US dollar was valued at Rs59.75 in the inter-bank market. Going by those rates, the company was privatised for $270 million.