ISLAMABAD-An oil marketing company Wednesday filed an intra court appeal (ICA) before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging its verdict, wherein, it had rejected a petition against the newly formed fuel crisis committee.

The oil marketing company namely Attock Petroleum Limited in its ICA requested the court to set aside the verdict of a single bench of IHC in this matter and the Ministry of Petroleum’s June 8 and 9 notifications, announcing governmental actions against the oil marketing companies.

In the ICA, the petitioner oil marketing company contended that although notices had been issued in the petition to the respondents for their response but without taking any written response, the court proceeded to dispose of the petition.

It added that the main contention before the judge in chamber was that the impugned notifications were without lawful authority and clearly illegal. “The learned AAC was repeatedly asked under what authority the Respondent No 1 had issued the impugned notifications which the learned AAG failed to answer,” maintained the ICA.

It further said that an order from the Sindh High Court (SHC) passed in a similar case was also read out and shown in which similar question had been put to the AAG who after having read out the impugned notifications, was unable to substantiate as to how and under what provision of law, these notifications were issued and the SHC restrained the fuel crisis committee from taking any coercive action against the plaintiffs.

It was June 25 when a single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah announced the verdict in the petition challenging the fuel crisis committee and the ongoing crackdown against the oil marketing companies allegedly responsible for a recent fuel crisis.

Justice Athar noted in his verdict that in case of the petitions in hand, a mere fact finding inquiry/probe is being conducted by the concerned executive authorities to identify the factors which have led to acute fuel shortages by exposing the general public to extreme inconvenience and hardship.

He added that the petitioner companies definitely have a pivotal role in ensuring uninterrupted fuel supply to the general public. It cannot be ruled out that hoarding or black marketing could be one of the factors that may have lead to the crisis of fuel shortages.

The IHC CJ maintained, “The executive authorities in the circumstances were indeed justified to take timely measures including initiation of a probe/inquiry in order to ascertain the factors that had led to the unprecedented crisis causing extreme hardship and inconvenience to the general public.”

According to the court order, there is no force in the argument of one of the learned counsels that probe/inquiry could only have been conducted under the Pakistan Commission of Inquiries Act, 2017. Accepting this argument will amount to denying to the Executive branch of the State its prerogative to inquire or probe into matters of public importance in any manner as it deems appropriate.