QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court Monday restrained Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) from collecting extra charges from gas consumers in the province.
A division bench of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) comprising Justices Muhammad Kamran Khan Mulakhail and Sardar Ahmed Haleemi issued the directives, expressing dissatisfaction over non-appearance of secretary energy, chairman and director general (Gas) Ogra and 25 top brass of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL). Earlier the bench has asked them to appear before the court in response to a pending plea seeking directives over uninterrupted gas supply, manhandling the applicants and failure to establish consumers grievance redressal mechanism since a long.
During the hearing of the case, the court was informed that the secretary petroleum, DG gas and other relevant authorities were not present in the court despite being summoned. The court expressed its displeasure over their non-appearance and summoned them for the next hearing.
Earlier, the BHC has issued contempt of court notices to secretary energy, chairman and director general (Gas) Ogra and 25 top brass of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) for willful defiance of court directives over uninterrupted gas supply, manhandling the applicants and failure to establish consumers grievance redressal mechanism since a long.
The petitioner has urged the court’s directives to National Highways Authority (NHA), Cantonment Board Quetta (CBQ) and Metropolitan Corporation Quetta (MCQ) to ensure immediate filling up patches and trenches followed by blacktopping soon after handing over the site by the SSGC’s contractor.
Issuing notice in the matter the bench said in its order (Copy available with TLTP), “We are dismay to painfully observe, which is unfortunate at least to say, that time and again the orders were passed, but no heed was paid, which left us with no other option, but to issue contempt of court notices to all concerned officers of the SSGC, Ministry of Petroleum, Oil & Gas Development Authority with clear understanding that why a contempt of court proceeding shall not be initiated against them for willful defiance of the court’s orders”.
Expressing grave dismay over referral of domestic consumer bills correction to Karachi office during the last hearing of the case, the bench issued directives to people at the helm of affairs to ensure that such issues should be decided in SSGCL Quetta.
On Monday, the court stopped the SSGCL from collecting extra charges from consumers and adjourned the hearing of the case till June 19, 2023.