islamabad

Registrar office of Islamabad High Court (IHC) has raised some objections over the petition of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) against excessive electricity bills.

While talking to The Nation here on Wednesday, Niaz Ullah Khan Niazi Advocate, regional head of PTI, said that registrar IHC had raised some objections over the petition due to shortage of some relevant documents. However, he added that the PTI would remove these objections over the petition on Thursday (today) and expressed the hope that the IHC will fix it on Friday for regular hearing.

Earlier, PTI MNAs including Asad Umar, Dr Arif Alvi and Dr Shireen Mazari filed the petition in the court on Saturday last against excessive electricity billing. They moved the court through their counsels Farrukh Dall, Qaiser Shah and Fatima Hasan Gilani.

The federal government last month issued excessive bills to power consumers that resulted into the public protests and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had taken up this matter in the cabinet meeting as well. The petitioners cited the secretary ministry of water and power, chairman Nepra, chairman WAPDA, chairman PEPCO and 11 other electricity distribution companies as respondents in the case. They maintained before the court that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and electricity distribution companies (DISCOS) are charging unjustified and illegal amounts every month by issuing inflated and exorbitant electricity bills.

The PTI leaders argued that DISCOs have charged excessive bills for the month of August and September 2014 without legal justification. They added, “Throughout the world, utility services tariffs are determined while keeping in view the purchasing power of citizen, but in Pakistan power tariffs have gone far beyond the paying capacity of the common man.”

They contended that excessive billing has also created problems for trade and industry as it has increased cost of production, which eventually hampers industrial growth, reduces exports and burdens economic development. The petitioners alleged that the respondents - Nepra and DISCOS - were sending extra amount in bills to maximise revenue. 

Therefore, they prayed to the court to direct the respondents to submit a detailed report on consumption and billing for the last year. They further requested the court to direct DISCOs to refund excess amounts to consumers and take action against the responsible parties.