LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice, yesterday, rejected a federal government notification rehgarding the transfer of administrative control of five regulatory bodies to their respective ministries.

The government had placed the control of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Pepra) and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) under their respective ministries.

The petitioner's counsel, Advocate Sheraz Zaka, emphasised that an approval from the Council of Common Interests (CCI) was mandatory under the constitution for transferring the control of the autonomous regulatory bodies to the ministries.

He referred to the fact that SC, in its numerous judgements, also declared approval from the CCI a mandatory provision for the purpose. Whereas, he stressed, there was also a conflict of interest where the government, on the one hand, was involved in production and transmission of electricity, and on the other it wanted to assume the role of regulator by placing Nepra under the control of Water and Power ministry.

The chief justice held that the rule of law was essential as the prime minister should have sought approval from the CCI before issuing such notification. The chief justice rejected the notification and sought the appearance of attorney general of Pakistan on the next date of hearing.