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Peshawar

October 13, 2017

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Nepra control: PHC suspends federal govt’s notification By

Nepra control: PHC suspends federal govt’s notification By

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has suspended a notification by the federal government transferring administrative control of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to the Water and Power Division.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar suspended the federal government notification issued on June 6, 2017.

The government in this notification had also transferred the control of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) under their respective ministries.

The court sought reply from the federal government through secretary Cabinet Division and Water and Power Division in the writ petition.  The court issued the stay order in writ petition by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Nauman Wazir, filed through his lawyers Shumail Ahmad Butt and H Bilal Khan.

Shumail Ahmad Butt argued that earlier all the high courts, including PHC, had suspended the federal government’s first notification issued on December 19, last year about transfer of the regulatory authorities to the control of their respective ministries. He submitted the Islamabad High Court had declared the first notification illegal and void.

The counsel submitted that first the notification was directly issued by the prime minister about transfer of administrative control of the regulatory bodies to the respective ministries.  He said the federal government again issued the same notification on June 6, this year, but this time after approval from the cabinet division.

However, he submitted that any alteration made in the administrative arrangement relating to regulatory authorities is subject to the approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).  He said that the policy decisions and guidelines of the CCI were binding on the federal government.

“The latter is not empowered to interfere with the affairs of the regulatory authorities other than as provided under Article 154 of the Constitution and the relevant legislative enactments. Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Business, 1973 is subject to Articles 153 and 154 of the Constitution. The Impugned Memorandum, dated 06.06.2017, was illegal and against the law,” the petitioner claimed in the petition.

It was further stated that the impugned memorandum issued in violation of the constitutional mandate and as such is illegal, void and was issued without lawful authority and jurisdiction as it require an approval of the CCI.

The lawyer also informed the court that the federal government had also filed an Intra-Court Appeal No. 264/2017 which is fixed for full hearing on October 30 before the division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), as the government claimed that it was declared illegal by single bench of the IHC.

However, he said, that despite the matter being sub-judice before the high court, even then the respondents did not bother to wait for the decision and issued yet another notification/memorandum No. 7-2/2016-Min-I dated 06.06.2017 and transferred the control of regulatory bodies to their respective ministries.

 

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