LAHORE - A petition was filed on Monday filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products across the country.

The writ petition filed by Azhar Siddiq Advocate says that the government’s claim pertaining to the increase in the prices of petroleum products across the globe was baseless.

The petitioner cited the federal government, ministry of petroleum and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) as respondents. The petitioner took the plea that the matter regarding the prices of petroleum products was already in the court.

The petitioner pleaded that the government’s move to increase the petroleum products’ prices was because of additional sales tax collection. He said that that owing to the exorbitant hike in the petroleum products, inflation will also increase across the country.

He said that the government’s move was in violation of the Article 14-9 and Article 18 of the Constitution. He added that petroleum prices had been decreased across the world except Pakistan where the prices have been exorbitantly increased.

The petitioner is of the view imposing over 17 percent tax on the petroleum products was against the constitution therefore the government’s decision for charging additional sales tax may kindly be nullified and order be passed for the decrease in the prices.

Earlier, government had increased petrol and High Speed Diesel price by Rs6 per litre. The prices of kerosene oil and light diesel oil were also hiked by Rs3 each.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday rejected an application seeking that Justice (r) Javed Iqbal be barred from performing his duty as the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan turned down the application filed by Advocate AK Dogar. He field the civil miscellaneous application in the main petition moved against the formation of the accountability watchdog.

After rejecting the application, the court adjourned the hearing of the main petition until April 4.

The petition says that no provision in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 allows the formation of a bureau. It was stipulated in the ordinance that the chairman of NAB shall be appointed by the president in consultation with the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition, it further says.

The petition submits that the formation of the present bureau and all its actions may kindly be declared illegal. The petitioner further prayed that the sentences awarded to accused persons under the NAB Ordinance, including the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) quaid Nawaz Sharif, may also be set aside.

On March 26, 2019, the Supreme Court granted Nawaz Sharif bail for six weeks on medical grounds. The apex court had suspended his sentence and given him the freedom to obtain medical treatment of his choice being in the country. The court did not allow him to leave the country for the purpose.

Sharif’s counsel had argued that his client urgently needed angiography and the apex court accepted the appeal on medical grounds remarking that several senior doctors had suggested that Sharif’s history of hypertension, cardiac and renal ailments may present a “mild-moderate risk” if he is to undergo angiography.