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Pakistan

Web Desk
August 11, 2020

CJP directs authorities to place K-Electric CEO's name on ECL over loss of lives in Karachi

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, Aug 11, 2020

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday directed the authorities to place K-Electric (KE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moonis Alvi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) over the loss of lives in Karachi due to electrocution.

The CJP issued the directives while hearing a petition regarding unannounced loadshedding in Karachi and deaths due to electrocution in the port city. The KE CEO and the chairman of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) had appeared before the court in today’s hearing.

CJP Ahmed also directed officials to carry out a detailed audit of the port city’s power supply company. 

“K-Electric has done nothing in Karachi,” said CJP Ahmed. He also remarked that a murder case should be registered against the power utility company’s complete management.

The chief justice told the counsel for KE that he was a citizen of Karachi as well and he should also take note of the 21 deaths in the city.

To this, the lawyer responded saying that the people had died in their homes. Separately, Alvi also told the court that his company was not responsible for the deaths.

“There must be some electricity fault due to which the people must have died,” asked the CJP. Justice Faisal Arab remarked that people have died on the streets as earthing wires had been removed from power supply poles.

Justice Arab’s remarks were also backed by the chairman NEPRA, who said that earthing wires were removed by the power supply company.

The CJP remarked that the power supply company's system was ruined by foreigners when they took over the utility from the government.

“Who are they to lecture the people of Karachi? They say the people of Karachi steal electricity, who are they to say it?” asked the CJP. 

The KE CEO tried responding to the CJP during the hearing, but was asked to do his “work” and not give “speeches”.

“They have established a monopoly in the city. They take peoples’ lives and then take stay orders from the courts,” observed the CJP. He added that the power supply company’s influence may work in the government but it does not work in the courts.

The CJP alleged that KE earns money from Karachi and then invests it all over the world.

However, Alvi told the judge that they had not paid a single rupee to their shareholders since the last three or four years. He also informed the court that they had invested in Korangi and Lyari to reduce line losses.

To this, the CJP observed that what the company has done has caused more "losses" than investing in the city.

The CJP also observed that the KE CEO’s name should be included in all the FIRs related to deaths due to electrocution.

The Supreme Court during the hearing warned KE not to shut the power supply of the city for a “single minute”. It also said that if they want to shut down the electricity then they should shut it down in their own offices.

The country’s top judge also directed NEPRA to monitor the company and take action against the power utility if it shuts down electricity in the city "for even a minute”.