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It looks govt being run by non-elected persons: LHC

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  1. ghazi52

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    July 17, 2020

    It looks govt being run by non-elected persons:

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    LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Thursday remarked that apparently, it looks the federal government is being run by non-elected persons in the cabinet.

    "There is a hell of difference between unelected and elected persons. Unelected persons don't have any stake. They will not be answerable at all. They will pack their bags and go home. But the elected persons have to face the massesof their constituencies because they decide their fate by way of voting,” the CJ observed without naming Babar Nadeem, special assistant to prime minister on petroleum.

    Pursuant to the court directions, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan, Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority’s Chairperson Uzma Adil, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafiq and other functionaries turned up. The chief justice was hearing a case against shortage of petrol in the country and inability of the government to take strict action against the responsible. The attorney general furnished before the court minutes of a federal cabinet’s meeting on the petrol crisis issue. The CJ showed annoyance after going through the meeting minutes and remarked that the government has no sympathy with people. The CJ was amazed that the special assistant to prime minister on petroleum presented illogical reasons to the cabinet behind the petrol shortage.

    “Ostensibly, the cabinet has been misled and the special assistant running the relevant ministry is responsible for the crisis,” the chief justice said and asked the attorney general to apprise the court whether the OMCs have maintained mandatory stock of 20 days as per their contracts. He asked the top law officer to explain about action taken against the oil marketing companies in light of the cabinet’s decision.

    The AGP declined to defend the federal government's act when his attention was drawn towards the fact that oil prices were enhanced on June 26 without a summary from the Ogra chairperson and the government claimed that there was an oral consultation with the regulator. The CJ expressed displeasure over it.

    Uzma Adil told the court that she stood superannuated so her successor should be asked to attend the subsequent hearings. She suggested that the court summon an inquiry report by former chairman of the authority Saeed Ahmad. The AGP sought time from the court to submit terms of references (ToRs) for the government’s commission on the petrol crisis. He said the commission would take six to eight weeks to complete its report.

    The CJ said the attorney general is fully empowered to give his advice to the government on the commission. However, he said, the report of the commission will not be binding on the court as a separate judicial order could be passed if the court does not find the report satisfactory. The chief justice asked the attorney general to look into the ToRs submitted by amicus curiae Awais Khalid for the commission. He asked the AGP to submit replies to the petition on behalf of the respondents if the government fails to form any commission.

    The AGP assured the court that it will not happen. The CJ deferred further hearing for six weeks.