Saturday November 27, 2021

PHC issues contempt notice to KP government

December 03, 2016

Gas royalty funds

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued contempt of court notice to the provincial government through the chief secretary and secretary finance for non-compliance with the court’s directives to distribute gas royalty funds equally among members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as per the rules.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Roohul Amin Khan issued the notice to chief secretary, secretary finance, deputy commissioner and PTI Hangu district president Noor Awaz and directed them to submit reply and explain why the court’s directions were ignored.

The contempt of court petition was filed by JUI-F MPA from PK-43 Hangu constituency, Mufti Said Janan. During the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer Muhammad Esa Khan submitted before the bench that the PHC in May 2016 allowed the writ petition of JUI-F MPA and issued directions to the provincial government to distribute the gas royalty funds on equal basis among MPAs of Hangu district. The court had also issued directives to recover the funds from the PTI MNA and district president as they were not authorised to spend the money.

The lawyer submitted that the PTI-led provincial government deprived the petitioner Mufti Said Janan of the gas royalty funds of Hangu district for the financial year 2015-16 and also distributed it against the law and relevant rules. 

Lawyer Esa Khan said that under the rules the gas royalty funds could only be spent through the MPAs in their constituencies for development schemes. He argued that the chief minister deprived Mufti Janan of the funds and unlawfully distributed the money among the PTI district president Noor Awaz and PTI MNA from NA-16 Hangu constituency, Khial Zaman Orakzai.

The lawyer submitted that the chief minister was providing major share of the funds to the PTI MPA from PK-42 Hangu constituency, Shah Faisal Khan and depriving the JUI-F MPA of his due share due to political rivalry. 

Before filing the writ petition, he said Mufti Said Janan had time and again moved privilege motions and raised the issue in the provincial assembly and also taken it up with the KP chief minister, but to no avail.

The lawyer informed the court that the chief minister had unlawfully issued Rs1,080 million to MNA Khial Zaman Orakzai and Rs30 million to PTI Hangu president from the gas royalty funds though under the law only the MPAs from the district were authorised to spend the funds in their respective constituencies on development schemes. 

He argued that the provincial government and chief minister did not comply with the court’s decision despite its directive that the gas royalty funds be distributed equally among the Hangu district MPAs, who include JUI-F’s Mufti Said Janan and PTI’s Shah Faisal.