LAHORE – The Federal Government and Wapda are reluctant to disclose the length, if any, of electricity loadshedding for the VVIPs and for high-profile premises including the Presidency, the Prime Minister’s House, the Governor’s House, the Chief Minister’s House and the official residences of the ministers, the LHC learned on Tuesday, which once again summoned the schedule.

It was the eighth order of Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed regarding the issue. The LHC had summoned the electricity loadshedding schedule for the VVIPs and the big premises but it was not provided to the court on all previous hearinhs.

Later talking to TheNation, petitioner Muhammad Azhar Siddque said: “I can not say that the LHC is using tolerating behaviour against the government and departments. But this is a fact that the tolerating policy is destroying the judicial as well as the country’s other systems. This silent policy is also encouraging the trend of floating the court orders.”

“The masses including lawyers believes on rule of law and hoped that the judges of superior judiciary and high courts will have to save the respect of judiciary and try to maintain the believe of masses by ensuring their orders,” Siddque added.

Earlier, during the course of the hearing on Tuesday, CJ Sheikh Azmat Saeed directed the Wapda and all electricity distribution companies in the Punjab to submit their schedule by March 20. Wapda’s legal advisor, Ahmad Tariq Rahim claimed before the court that the Authority was against “an indiscriminate loadshedding.”

“If the hospitals are not excluded from the electricity loadshedding then no Prime Minister, no Chief Minister nor anyone else should be excluded,” Mr Rahim further told the court.

Expressing dissatisfaction on the statement of the Wapda’s advisors, the CJ directed the concerned officer(s) of the Ministry of Water & Power to appear in the court on the next date of hearing. “How can the court believe when a federal minister says that no loadshedding will be made in the country and the loadshedding does happen the very next day,” the CJ observed.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique had filed the petition seeking a restraining order for Wapda and electricity distribution companies not to hold power load shedding management sharing plan. He had submitted in the petition that that government failed to supply uninterrupted electric supplies to hospitals, whether federal, provincial or private especially in the ongoing season when rivers were full of water and there was no shortfall technically in production of the electricity.

He had alleged that the government was not paying payments/outstanding to IPPs (independent power producers) and they were not producing electricity which was a violation of fundamental rights of the people.

He said it was a proven fact that people were facing gas loadshedding for no reason and now electricity shortfall, again for no reason. He pointed out that the government was ‘illegally’ collecting fuel adjustment charges, equalization surcharge and others but remained failed to provide uninterrupted electricity to citizens.

The lawyer prayed that Wapda and all discos in the province be restrained from carrying out load shedding especially in hospitals. He also prayed that the uninterrupted electricity supply to VVIPs including President, Prime Minister, Governor, Chief Minister, Ministers and others be declared violation of Article 25 of the Constitution.