The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday directed the Ministry of Petroleum to formulate a policy of indiscriminate gas supply to all sectors including CNG sector.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah issued these directions while hearing the writ petitions of owners of CNG stations of Potohar region, who had moved the court against the closure of gas supply to the stations for three months.

Justice Athar directed both the parties that the apprehensions of CNG sectors should be reviewed in the meeting between secretary ministry of petroleum and representative delegation of the CNG sector so that a comprehensive and indiscriminate policy could be formulated regarding the indiscriminate supply of gas to all the sectors.  The petitioners adopted before the court that the ministry of petroleum and natural resources has been treating CNG sector in a discriminating way when they had been providing gas to the other industrial sector sane CNG.

They added that this discrimination is not only unconstitutional but a violation of fundamental rights. It was on December 04 when the same IHC bench while directing SNGPL not to disconnect the connections of 314 CNG gas stations, had sought reply from the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.

The counsels for SNGPL Ali Rukh and Hafeezullah Yaqoob on the other hand had informed the court that the prevalent situation is due to a huge gap in demand and supply. SNGPL has a priority list and the first priority is domestic consumer. They further said that under the contract the CNG station owners signed while applying for the gas connection, the SNGPL has the right to interrupt the supply of gas to them at any point of time. The counsels said that the gas load management issue has already been discussed by the IHC Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan in 2011 on the identical petitions. After issuing above-mentioned directions, Justice Athar adjourned the hearing in this matter till December 26 for further proceedings. Meanwhile, Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) and Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) have announced to observe complete strike at lower courts and high court on Tuesday (today) to condemn the brutal terrorist attack on Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar.

Expressing solidarity with the aggrieved parents, the bar media coordinator Chaudhary Khalid Advocate said that lawyer community stood with the parents of martyred kids in these sad moments of pain and grief.