ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) despite former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s instruction on March 13, 2013 had refused to grant licences to 200 CNG stations, as they didn’t meet the criteria.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, hearing the suo motu case regarding the illegal issuance of CNG stations, also directed OGRA not to grant any licence as per the instructions of former Prime Minister.

The Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural resources Abid Saeed was directed to probe the matter of letter of credits relating to import of cylinders and CNG kits during ban on the CNG station licences with assistance of the Federal Board of Revenue.

He was asked to submit the report in this regard during next date of hearing.

It also observed that they would consider regarding the changing of site regarding the establishment of CNG stations.

The bench has made it clear that they would examine transparency regarding the issuance of 64 licences.

The court appreciated the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) regarding the implementation of its judgement about the seizing of the entire record of pending applications and marketing licenses issued to CNG stations since 2008.

During the hearing, the counsel for OGRA, Iftikhar Gilani admitted before the bench that though former PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had instructed on March 13, 2013 regarding the issuance of licences to 200 CNG stations but OGRA had refused to grant any licence.

The learned counsel stated the Prime Minister had also said that these 200 persons were agitating; therefore, licences should be granted to them but OGRA had rejected it.

He, however, said that OGRA had issued 64 licences, which had been granted provisional licences in the past and they had no link with these 200 stations.

Gilani also contended that three high courts had given decisions that when anyone got provisional licence then it would be his fundamental right to get operational licence.

He also said that the NAB had thoroughly examined the matter related to the issuance of CNG licences in former OGRA Chairman Tauqir Sadiq case.

Earlier, Director FIA (Legal) Azam Khan presented the record of OGRA about the pending applications and marketing licences issued to CNG stations since 2008.

The bench was told that the record include 1541 files, however, 1508 were presented before the court, while remaining 33 would be submitted during the course of the case.

Azam Khan stated that during the last five years, OGRA received some 7,000 applications, out of which 1541 licences were issued for the setting up of CNG stations throughout the country.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till April 22nd.