ISLAMABAD While settling the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Petroleum Ministry to resend its summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for fresh approval and advised Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilanis supervision in this regard. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprised Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Ghulam Rabbani while hearing a suo moto case regarding awarding of over-one billion dollars LNG import project, declared the old LNG contact has no legal status. The apex court ordered Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari to bear down on the officers responsible for the mess. The Chief Justice urged the Prime Minister to chair the ECC meeting, saying that the PM is a responsible person; and the issue of contract will come on the right track, if he gets involved in this matter of national interest. While commenting on former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, the CJ said that Tarin bears good repute, as he acknowledged his fault and admitted that only one company was issued a letter. Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari told the court that the federal government would again send the summary to the ECC for the award of the contract. Justice Chaudhry Ijaz said that it was incumbent upon the Secretary Petroleum to provide the precise information to Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), adding the wrong ECC decision was spawned by the incorrect information provided to it. During the course of hearing, the Chief Justice said it is up to the court to look into the matter for transparency. He also stressed that no harm should be done to the country; this is what judiciary wants. The CJ said the old LNG contract has no legal status and the process of awarding the contract should be transparent. Barrister Syed Ali Zafar apprised the court that the process for award of Mashal Project to 4Gas has not yet been completed but so far the process is transparent, above board and in accordance with the requirements of the project. He submitted before the court that the Mashal Project is an integrated terminal which means that the supply, storage and re-gasification of the LNG has to be conducted by the developer, namely 4Gas. The 4Gas developer is entitled to put forward the names of the LNG suppliers and the government is entitled to oversee that the terms and conditions agreed with the LNG supplier are acceptable to them. Zafar submitted that 4Gas has proposed the names among others of GDF Suez for the LNG supply and the government negotiated and discussed the terms with them. The negotiated terms of supply of LNG with GDF were also approved by the independent consultants Potent and Partners and then taken in the summary to the ECC. He submitted that there is nothing wrong with this process and that the government in this regard acted prudently. He made reference to the request for proposal and submitted that all agreements to be entered will be in line with the same. The counsel for the parties, S.M. Zafar, for Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Abdul Hafeez Pirzada for GDF Suez, informed the court about the progress made by them in the light of the observations of the court made Monday and confirmed that the Ministry was willing that subject to 4Gas being the approved and confirmed developer of Mashal Project they can take the matter to the ECC to consider afresh the matter of LNG supply to the party approved by 4Gas. The Ministry also agreed to take the proposal of Fauji-Vitol as an independent matter from Mashal in respect of the short-term supply of LNG. Pirzada told the court that if the matter is resolved in this manner, then the allegation of any wrongdoing by GDF Suez or the alleged loss to the government as stated in some section of the press should be expunged. The Chief Justice pointed out that since the decision would not be made on merit, therefore, the court could not come to any conclusion regarding the allegations in the news report. The counsel for Fauji-Vitol consortium said that he had no objection if their proposal could be considered by the ECC independently of the Mashal project. Rauf Klasra, a news reporter, requested the court that the allegations in his news report were correct but the court observed that it could not said so without determining the matter. The court then passed the orders directing the government to file an appropriate proposal in writing confirming that 4Gas is the agreed developer and that the Mashal Project will be processed by the government forward from that point in time by submitting the summary to the ECC afresh and in addition the Fauji-Vitol proposal also be considered by the ECC against short-term LNG supply separately. The case hearing was adjourned till tomorrow.