ISLAMABAD – The government Wednesday filed a review petition in the Rental Power Projects (RPPs) case, telling the court that adoption of RPPs as a ‘short-term measure’ was a ‘proper exercise’ and the court’s verdict was unconstitutional.

The federation filed the review petition through secretary of Ministry of Water and Power and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), praying the court to review its March 30 judgment. Presenting a justification for RPPs, it said their induction helped not only bridging the power deficit but also enabled the public sector companies to close down their plants for purpose of rehabilitation and modernisation. It has made Federal Minister for Housing and Works Faisal Saleh Hayat, PML-N MNA Khwaja Muhammad Asif and Nepra as respondents.

The apex court in its decision had declared the RPPs agreements illegal and held Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Finance, Wapda (Water and Power Development Authority), Nepra (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority), Pepco (Pakistan Electric Power Company) and GENCOs (generation companies) responsible for causing huge losses to national exchequer.

The court ruled that all the functionaries of Pepco, GENCOs and Nepra along with the sponsors, who had derived financial benefits from the RPPs contracts, are prima facie involved in corruption and corrupt practices, therefore, they are liable both for the civil and criminal action. The court ordered legal action against former Water and Power ministers, holding charge in 2006 and onward and from 2008 to onward, during whose tenure the projects were approved. In the review petition, the federation has stated that the court did not refer to the elaborate facts and figures placed on record and the conclusion arrived at by the court was not on basis of facts but on presumptions, and it has a material bearing on the fate of the case.

It contended the findings of the court that functionaries were prima facie involved in corruption and corrupt practice was not supported by any evidence or material submitted either by the petitioner, or by any other person and such observations undermine the fundamental rights of the functionaries in particular article 10-A of the constitution.

 It said the court’s direction for taking criminal action was not in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

The federation prayed that in the national interest and to avoid multiple litigation in Pakistan and abroad the court may consider as a way forward, a process of contract reformation which may include re-determination of tariff by Nepra in the interest of the consumers.