Court: SC reserves verdict in CNG prices’ case

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday reserved its verdict in the Compressed Natural Gas CNG prices’ case after the counsels of the parties concluded their arguments.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain noted that the verdict will be announced today Friday.

During the hearing of the case, Federal Secretary Petroleum Waqar Masood Khan informed the court that a committee had already been formed under the chairmanship of the federal law minister Farooq H. Naek during a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee ECC of the Cabinet. However, he said the government also had its own reservations over the CNG prices.

The CNG Association requested the court to order that the price of CNG be increased to Rs 73 per kilogram, but the court refused to entertain the request noting that it was the job of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ogra.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja noted that five years had lapsed and the CNG stations’ owners had been failed to meet the required conditions. He said the court would decide the case in light of the facts. He said the issue of CNG prices was getting momentum day by day, thus it should be resolved now.

He said a nexus between the owners of CNG stations and Ogra was evident from the CNG prices episode. Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Sindh CNG Association, told the court that a crisis had surfaced after the Supreme Court on October 25 had ordered Rs 30 per kilogram slash in the CNG prices. He requested the court to order Ogra to decide the CNG price.

Later, talking to media outside the Supreme Court, CNG Association chairman Ghayyas Paracha said the verdict of the apex court in the CNG prices case will be implemented in letter and spirit. He however demanded the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited SNGPL to reopen about 700 CNG stations which it had closed illegally.

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