ISLAMABAD-Jamaat-e-Islami leader and former member of National Assembly Mian Muhammad Aslam moved an Intra Court Appeal (ICA) before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against a single bench’s verdict, wherein, it had rejected a petition filed against the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products in the country.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan conducted hearing of the ICA filed by Mian Aslam through his counsel Rao Abdul Rahim Advocate.

In the ICA, he cited Federation of Pakistan through President, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Secretary Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Petroleum and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority as respondents.

The petitioner’s counsel requested the court to set aside singe bench’s verdict and direct the respondents to decrease the petroleum products prices. He also requested the court to declare the imposition of multiple taxes at higher rates as unconstitutional and the respondent may be directed to reduce taxes over a commodity of basic need for the economy as well as general public.

The lawyer prayed to the court that the respondents may be directed to revise the base prices of the petroleum products and reduce it as per the previous rates.

Then, he requested the court to grant more time for preparation of the case. The bench accepted his plea and deferred the hearing for the next week.

In the ICA, the petitioner stated that during the instant crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of our country as well as worldwide markets have faced huge decline. Due to which the middle and lower class people are facing huge financial stress because of major cuts in their earnings.

He added that on 26 June, despite slight fluctuation in the crude oil prices in international market, the government has endorsed huge increase in prices of petroleum products in an illegal and hasty manner by increasing base price of the petroleum products and petroleum levy over it in total disregard to the lower international market prices of the petroleum prices as compared to the last calendar year prices for benefitting the large petroleum companies in an unjustified manner at the cost of adding miseries to already suffering pubic.

Earlier, a single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conduced hearing of the petition filed by former member of National Assembly Mian Muhammad Aslam and dismissed the same after hearing the arguments in this matter.

Justice Athar observed in the judgment that in the instant case nothing has been placed on record to indicate that a case is made out for interference by this court in a matter, which exclusively falls within the domain of the executive.

He noted, “In the circumstances, the prayers sought are not justiciable. Moreover, the matter is of a nature that this Court ought to exercise utmost restraint because intervention would prejudice the policies and actions of the executive in dealing with the challenges that relate to the economy.”

He added, “For the above reasons, the prayers sought are not justiciable and thus the petition is accordingly dismissed.”