The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday directed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to register cases against officials who issued illegal licences to the owners of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations.
A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing in the suo motu notice of CNG station licences issued during the tenure of two former prime ministers – Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf.
During the course of proceedings, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and OGRA submitted their reports regarding setting up of CNG stations near schools, mosques and hospitals. OGRA Chairman Saeed Ahmed informed the court that OGRA had issued show cause notices to CNG station owners that were operating near schools, mosques and hospitals.
The chief justice remarked that gas connections of such stations should be disconnected.
Justice Ejaz Chaudhry remarked that why people who got illegal licences were not summoned.
He said the people complain about theft of gas daily but OGRA had failed to arrest the criminals.
The OGRA chairman said gas theft issue was related to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and OGRA had nothing to do with it.
The CJP said gas theft issue was of OGRA, but they were not interested in controlling the menace.
He remarked that gas was being stolen throughout the country, to which the OGRA chairman said the authority was issuing show-cause notices to those involved in gas theft.
According to FIA’s report, there were 16 CNG stations within a radius of 8.5 kilometre, while OGRA in its report identified 349 CNG stations that were situated near schools, hospitals and mosques.
The court directed OGRA to submit a complete record of CNG stations and also sought record of the stations that were paying taxes to examine how many vendors were working.
The court also directed the Federal Board of Revenue to assist OGRA and adjourned the hearing until July 11.