Monday June 17, 2024

Loadshedding: SHC directs KE's lawyer to apprise 'on oath' about power cuts in city

There is load shedding where people don't even have air conditioner and are living hand to mouth, says court

By Amin Anwar
May 27, 2024
A general view of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website/File
A general view of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court Monday censured Karachi's electricity supplier K-ELectric (KE) for carrying out loadshedding in areas where people are already living hand to mouth.

SHC Justice Salahuddin Panhwar, while hearing a petition pertaining to unannounced power cuts in Jamshed Quarters on Jahangir Road, reprimanded the KE's lawyer for the utility provider's actions asking him to submit an affidavit and told him to write under oath about the extent of load shedding being done in the area.

Responding to the court, the KE's counsel underscored his client's objection to the petitioner arguing that he fights cases and charges fees for it.

The court remarked how much money could this lawyer have earned from fees and that there are some people who do such cases for public interest.

The court also questioned about the financial status of the impacted area's residents, responding to which the petitioner said it is mostly comprised of poor, middle-class people who do not even have an air conditioner in their homes.

"There is load shedding where people don't even have an AC and where people have nothing to eat," the court remarked.

Meanwhile, addressing the prosecutor, Justice Salahuddin said: "European countries give funds for plantations. They pay money to plant trees on thousands of acres here."

The judge told the prosecutor that solar panels should be installed using this money for people in such areas. He added that the government won't install solar panels in schools and libraries.

Addressing the KE lawyer, the court said: "Your compulsions will no longer work. The petitioners said that KE created such conditions that people are forced to commit suicide."

The KE counsel requested that the court order Sindh government to help the company in removing illegal electricity connections.

Last week, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Sindh minister for energy and planning development, had assured that the KE has agreed to restore electricity of consumers once they pay their bills.

Maximum relief would be provided to the poor consumers consuming less units without discrimination, the minister said. He also urged citizens to pay their dues so that they receive uninterrupted power without any delay.

Shah was addressing a meeting of parliamentary leaders and assembly members of all parties in the Sindh Assembly that discussed the increasing load shedding in Karachi, non-payment of KE bills and shutdown due to faulty PMTs in various areas.